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Home / US / Is Kevin Wilkins ready for Rutgers breakout season? "He will open a lot of eyes"

Is Kevin Wilkins ready for Rutgers breakout season? "He will open a lot of eyes"



Darius Hamilton took a break from an afternoon practice to see the NFL Combine. As the nation's best college defenders steered the 40-meter dash onto the canvas, Hamilton reminded of the most talented players he played with during his footballing career.

Rutgers' former three-time captain mentioned Jabrill Peppers, the former Don Bosco Prep and the University of Michigan, who was selected by the Cleveland Browns with the 25th pick in last year's NFL Draft.

Hamilton also mentioned Rutgers – recently graduated defensive end / linebacker Kemoko Turay, who is projected as the center (19659002) and he mentioned a current Rutgers defensive lineman.

"I think a lot of people will see it this year, but Kevin Wilkins does some things that 31

0 (pound) men do not do". "Oops," Hamilton said. "It's really crazy, he can move like a cat, he can bend over from the beginning, Kevin is a very talented kid, one of the most talented defensive lineman I'm with, once Kevin realizes his full potential, pass I think he will open a lot of eyes this year. "

It's a brave statement for a player who has not started a full season in his Rutgers career. But after moving from an inner point (nose tackle) along the defensive line, Wilkins made a smooth transition as an edge breaker like a redshirt junior, 48 tackles, five quarterback hurries and 5.5 tackles-for-loss, starting eight of the 12 Games he played last fall.

"Kevin has some versatility," said Rutgers coach Chris Ash on Thursday following his team's seventh practice in the spring camp. "He's tall, strong, has athletic ability, he's probably practicing as consistently as we've been here right now, he's doing a lot of pieces, he was hard to block, I like where Kevin is."

"He really is important to our defensive success. "

Will the Rutgers QB's mid-Spring Camp focus be on the center?

" Kevin is very valuable, "Corey Brown said." He gives us some versatility as he does can do different jobs. He did not have to do this right now in the spring so he can pinpoint the position he plays in (Edge Defensive End). But he gives us (an ability to move inward) for these third packages. He is also valuable from the point of view of experience with the younger people who lack that (versatility).

Said about his positive affirmation from Hamilton, Wilkins emitted a broad smile after an exercise earlier in the week.

"It's funny, I've known Darius since I was 12 years old," Wilkins said Gone together after (Don) Bosco before I switched to Joe's (St. Joseph-Montvale). He's been a big brother to me since 2009. It's one of the main reasons why I came to Rutgers. I have to learn how to lead, how to play different positions and just do what the coaches say at the end of the day.

Having served as the main backup for Sebastian Joseph in playing all 12 games during 2015 and in the 16s, Wilkins proved key to a defense that varied from a 4-3 base to a multi-base scheme It would not be uncommon for Wilkins to play the lead in early playoffs to thwart the run

"I think I handled it well," he said, "playing football at the end of the day. It's basically the same thing. Play 3 technique, nose, from the edge. It's every big-man dream to rush outside. I think I have to live the last year

"But I am confident that the coaches are confident that I can play the various positions on the defensive." While Wilkins is training mainly as an edge defender this spring, Wilkins understands he is being asked to move again this fall, as Rutgers' defender, Jay Niemann, has fine-tuned a defensive offense with both 4-3 and with 3-4 results.

"It's about keeping other teams honest," Wilkins said. We execute several defense mechanisms. You never know what you will get. That's what you want. Year 2 with this defense we look much better. We knew what we were doing, but I think as a whole, everyone is much more confident in what we do. I start to see things that I have not seen before.

"In our senior year, we're working on everything to get better, whether it's stopped or to find better angles to get to QB. We work on everything every day. & # 39; & # 39;

Keith Sargeant can be reached at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @KSargeantNJ .Find NJ.com Rutgers Football on Facebook. [19659021]
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