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RB Desmon Peoples eager to keep improving

Rutgers running back Desmon Peoples isn’t ready to settle with his on field performance last season – even after his most productive year, combining for 579 yards with three touchdowns (NJ.com, April 10).

“I really wasn’t satisfied with anything,” Peoples said. “I know I could’ve done better. I feel like I could’ve produced a lot more than I did.”

The junior stepped into the starting role for four games last season after leading rusher Paul James suffered a season-ending injury in September. But he ultimately fell behind freshmen on the depth chart in the final months.

“It made me want to work 10 times harder to be the best I can be,” Peoples said.

But even though he fell behind last season, he said he’s glad to see so much depth in the running back competition.

“I think it’s a good thing,” Peoples said of the running back depth. “We all obviously can play. We’ve played in games during the season. We have a lot of weapons in the backfield. So I feel like it makes us better as a team.”


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Scarlet Knights softball extends winning streak

The RU softball team is hot on a seven game winning streak after picking up a 6-2 victory over Princeton on Wednesday (Rutgers, April 8).

The Scarlet Knights are now 20-9 overall and 4-0 at home.

Junior Stephanie Huang led the Rutgers offense going 2-for-3 at the plate, including a walk and a run, while freshman Meaghan Wells tallied her first homer of her collegiate career with a two-run shot to put RU on the board in the second.

Senior Alyssa Landrith started on the mound for the Scarlet Knights, registering two scoreless and hitless frames while striking out five consecutive Tiger batters. She earned the win bringing her overall record to 11-5 on the season.


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Several RU football players to take part in Jets and Giants pro days

More than a few former Rutgers players are preparing for the Giants and Jets pro days on April 9 and 10, respectively (NJ.com, April 4).

Seven former Scarlet Knights will work out for the Giants including FB Michael Burton, QB Gary Nova, WR Andrew Turzilli, OL Kaleb Johnson, OL Betim Bujari, LB Kevin Snyder and SS Lorenzo Waters.

Six will take the field for the Jets: TE Tyler Kroft, FB Michael Burton, QB Gary Nova, WR Andrew Turzilli, OL Kaleb Johnson and LB Kevin Snyder.

Kroft is the top prospect in the group of players, projected as a mid-round pick. He has already taken individual workouts with the Eagles, Jaguars and the Buccaneers, with visits schedules with the Bears and Broncos.

Burton was the only other Scarlet Knight invited to the NFL combine and he has also worked out for the Buccaneers and had a meeting with the Browns on Friday.


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Former RU fullback Michael Burton works out for Buccaneers

Michael Burton, former Rutgers fullback, has been drawing interest from teams as the NFL draft approaches (NJ.com, April 2).

Burton worked out for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Rutgers on Thursday morning, according to a person with knowledge of the workout. 5-foot-11, 250-pounder is scheduled to visit with the Browns on Friday.

While Burton’s options are limited because only 19 of the 32 NFL teams used a fullback last season, the Long Valley native has also drawn attention from the Jets and Giants and is scheduled to work out in a local pro day for each team.

The former Rutgers walk-on turned captain has increased his value by working on his versatility – Brown is capable of playing H-back and is a core special teams player.


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Transfer Kiy Hester wears his loyalty on his sleeve with Rutgers tattoo

Kiy Hester has transferred more than once in his high school and collegiate football career, but as he starts spring practice with the Scarlet Knights, he’s showing his loyalty in a permanent way (NJ.com, April 2).

The inside of Hester’s forearm is inked with a Rutgers’ scarlet “Block R” logo and a No. 2 for his jersey number. On the outside of the same forearm from his elbow to his wrist is the word “Jersey,” a permanent reminder of his roots.

“I transferred a lot in high school and a lot of people felt like, ‘He doesn’t show his loyalty,’ ” Hester said. “I just wanted to show that I’m staying. I’m home. This is the place I want to be. The coaches, I’m around great players, and this is where I’m going to be for the next four years.” To read more of this story, click here


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Chris Laviano hopes to earn starting QB job

Rutgers quarterback Chris Laviano played in five games last season as the backup quarterback, but with Gary Nova looking for his spot in the NFL, the starting job is up for grabs this season (NJ.com, March 31).

Laviano will compete with Hayden Rettig and Giovanni Rescigno for the starting spot, but he said he thinks he has the experience to be the team leader, throwing for 107 yards on 11-for-28 passing last fall.

“Obviously I’ve had an entire season of getting better and taking reps with the ones and the twos,” said Laviano. “I think that (experience) is very beneficial going into the spring. I’m the only one who has been here for spring ball so far. I know what to expect. I’m getting ready every single day to fight for the job.”

Coach Kyle Flood agreed as he said the Long Island native has “come a long way from when he started” at Rutgers in January 2013.

“There’s definitely an advantage to being in the game plan, to having to take reps during the week even though you don’t get quite as many as the starter gets, and sometimes you don’t get any,” Flood said. “But mentally you get to take them, you get to be on that side of the field, you get to hear the coaching, so there’s a lot of advantages to it.” To read more of this story, click here


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