By Matt Sugam
PISCATAWAY – Lorenzo Waters doesn’t link his mental miscues to anything in particular. Just chalk it up to his inexperience.
The plays – like the bad angle he took to tackle an Arkansas receiver that resulted in a touchdown or bad jump on the ball in the fourth quarter against Syracuse that gave up a touchdown – are just speed bumps.
“It was just an unfortunate play,” Waters said of the Syracuse touchdown he gave up. “I saw the quarterback [Ryan Nassib], I saw where he was going, I just got to take a better angle to the ball next time and make a play.”
Waters feels such things are easily fixable. And they are. As long as they’re just plays that are going to happen to a first-year starter in an otherwise experienced secondary.
“Just personally I was just young out there,” Waters said of the first six games. “Seeing a lot of things, getting a feel for the game, that was an adjustment.”
The problem against the Orange when he gave up the touchdown – aside from the bad angle – was that he made his move too late. Fellow safety Duron Harmon said Waters was indecisive and that the split second of hesitation caused the gaffe.
“9 out of 10 times he makes that play,” Harmon said. “So he’s going to be fine.”
And Waters feels the same way. He hasn’t lost any of his confidence. And such miscues aren’t going to change the way he plays safety.
“You definitely want to stay aggressive and make a play next time. That’s all it is,” Waters said. “I’m not going to let that play change my game. I’m going to stay aggressive and I’m going to after the ball every time.”
Which is the nature of Rutgers defense. Waters just has to make sure he makes the play.
And after missing a couple of weeks of training camp due to injuries, one can’t help but think if those missed reps in August have factored into Waters play thus far. However, Waters insists that’s not the case.
“Any time you miss time like that you’re missing time to get better. That’s what it is,” Waters said. “But I know I haven’t gotten any worse from the time I had off. But that’s time I can’t get back now. I can only work on right now and that’s what I’m going to do.”