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Defense Also Stands Out in Rutgers’ Scarlet-White Spring Football Game

Junior CB/S Anthony Cioffi

Junior CB/S Anthony Cioffi

 

While most of the 15,782 in attendance glued their eyes on the quarterbacks and the offense, the defense had their moments in providing big plays as well.

After moving to safety recently during spring practice, junior Anthony Cioffi already put a stamp on his new-or-old position. With time running down in the fourth quarter of the Scarlet-White spring football game last night, Cioffi intercepted walk-on Terence Scanlon’s pass, and returned it 96-yards to the house following his blockers for a touchdown evidently ending the game.

Cioffi came to Rutgers and played cornerback and special teams his first two season after playing mostly safety in high school. He always had a knack for being around the ball and making plays. To date, Cioffi has forced three fumbles, recovered two, grabbed two interceptions, a blocked punt, and a blocked punt recovery to his name.

“He’s a guy when the ball is in his area, he generally comes down with it,” head coach Kyle Flood said Thursday. “To have him back there with his range coming off the hash, I think he’s going to have an opportunity to make some plays.”

Redshirt senior linebacker Quentin Gause intercepted a redshirt freshman Gio Rescigno pass, catching the ball off a deflection and returned it 33-yards in the first quarter.

In the third quarter, early enrollee freshman cornerback Blessuaun Austin was beat on a deep ball to receiver Carlton Agudosi getting flagged for defensive pass interference. However, Austin didn’t put his head down.

On the very next play, sophomore running back Robert Martin took the hand off and was off the races down the sideline until Austin ran down Martin and punched the ball out from behind causing a fumble. Redshirt freshman defensive back Isaiah Wharton dove on the ball before it went out of bounds.

In addition, redshirt freshman defensive tackle Eric Wiafe and redshirt sophomore rush-end Myles each had a sack on the opposing quarterbacks.

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The spring award winners were:

J.J. Denman (Mark Mills Second Effort Award) – Most improved offensive player

Saquan Hampton (Douglas A. Smith Award) – Most improved defensive player

Nick Arcidiacono (Frank R. Burns Award) – Player who displays extraordinary mental and physical toughness during the 15 spring practices

“Nick is a tight end who really plays a physical football game and we need him to do that with the style of offense we run,” Flood said of Arcidiacono. “He also does a good job of catching the ball and is a force downfield. He’s a selfless player who plays on special teams. He’s been out here every day this spring and done a tremendous job.

 

Numerous recruits and former Scarlet Knights were on hand including Anthony Davis, Ray Rice, Mohamed Sanu, and recently crowed Super Bowl Champions Tim Wright, Duron Harmon, Logan Ryan, and Devin McCourty.

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