Our summer tour of FBS schools looks at the specialists for the Rutgers Scarlet Knights.
Kicker: Kyle Federico, sophomore (Ponte Vedra, Fla. / Ponte Vedra HS)
2012: Went 6-of-11 on FG attempts to start the season, while also accumulating 15 kickoffs for an average of 59.9 yards … missed the final eight games of the season due to hip injury.
"In that Oct. 6 game, Federico injured his right hip, an injury he initially thought was a minor tweak. Instead, he was done for the season after winning the job as a true freshman and converting six of 11 attempts, including a career-long 52-yarder. 'It was just a freak thing,' he said today following Day 11 of spring practice. 'Maybe I needed to be more flexible. I swung my leg in a weird way. I didn’t think I was going to be out that long. After two-and-a-half to three weeks, it started to feel better but it was just that whole leg motion. That’s all I use is my (right) leg. The injury really affected it in a bad way. It really set me back. I had to get my muscles back together and just let everything heal.' ... He began kicking [in February] and says he’s pleased with how spring practice has gone. 'I have no problems with it,' he said. 'I’m just doing what I can to keep my body healthy. I’m stretching, getting into the ice tubs, doing stretching exercises with a hip machine'.”
Kicker: Nick Borgese, sophomore (Hamburg, NY / Saint Francis (Athol Springs, NY)
2012: Saw action in seven games, finishing the season 17-of-18 in PATs and 5-of-8 in field goal attempts... first started in the 23-15 win over Syracuse (10/13) in replacement of injured kicker Kyle Federico
"Away from the practice field this summer they’re roommates. On it, they’re locked in a competition for the starting placekicking job, a battle that can really only produce one winner. And if that sounds like a recipe for ruining a perfectly good friendship, Nick Borgese and Kyle Federico say that isn’t the case at all. Both say they’re able to separate being competitors and friends. 'What happens on the field is completely different from what happens off the field. We’re all teammates,' said Borgese, a third-year sophomore. 'It’s really not a big deal when we’re away from practice. We go back and relax. The only time we talk about kicking is when we’re in meetings or on the field. Once we’re off the field, we talk about other things'.”Kicker: Joe Behnke, senior (West Windsor, NJ / West Windsor-Plainsboro North)
2012: Member of the BIG EAST All-Academic Football TeamKicker: Nick DeLouisa, junior (Tewksbury, NJ / Immaculata HS)
2012: Attempted a PAT against UConn (10/6) in only appearance of the season
Kicker/punter: David Bonagura, freshman (Franklin Lakes, NJ / Ramapo HS)
High school: Three-year varsity letterwinner, starting all three seasons … named all-county first team kicker, all-county second team punter, MSG Varsity All-Metro Second Team Specialist, MSG Varsity All-State Second Team specialist and Big North Conference All-Division First Team specialist in his senior season … led the state in kick points scored for the season (68), points per game (5.7), touchbacks (51) and 14 punts inside the 20-yard line as a senior
"I have been working out and kicking 3 times a week. I plan to do my best during camp and prove myself and hopefully win the starting job."
Punter/kicker: Nick Marsh, senior (Petaluma, CA / Petaluma HS / Utah)
Immediately eligible after transferring to Rutgers … graduated from Utah in May and enrolled in a master’s program at RU … expected to compete for the starting punting job.
"During the offseason, I went to Australia to work with the punter at Utah, Tom Hackett, and his coach. There I was able to work with a pure punting coach and work on my end over end punt. That style of punt is very accurate and very key in red zone type punts. Since then I have been in New Jersey working with the strength staff and the kickers. We have been working on getting in shape and being as consistent as possible for the up coming season. My number one goal, at the moment, is to perform well at camp. Being at a new team, camp is really going to give me an opportunity to prove to the team that I can fill the void in special teams. My goal is to show the kicking world that I am more than just potential and more than just a kick off guy. My goal is to show that I can be a full time starter and that I am a viable candidate as one of the best in the country. I have set my goals high as this is my last year and I would like to go out with a bang. The team has worked extremely hard this off season and I just want to do my part in giving my team the best opportunity to win."
Punter: Aidan Murray, freshman (Mahwah, NJ / Don Bosco Prep)
High school: "Aidan Murray doesn’t talk like his dad, but he kicks like he does. 'You can tell he’s definitely from the other side [of the ocean],' Don Bosco coach Greg Toal said. Murray, the Don Bosco senior place kicker/punter, has learned his craft at the feet of his father, who grew up playing Gaelic football in Ireland. The two Murrays (Aidan is Aidan Tiernach Murray, his father just Aidan Murray) make for a unique sight on the Bosco sidelines. They are always together, checking the wind, practicing, getting ready to be called on. The world of a kicker can be a lonely one, but Aidan always has someone to talk to. 'I guess you can call him the kicking coach,' said Aidan, the son. 'He always practices kicking with me, and he tells me what I do wrong. He criticizes me. I don’t like to admit that I’m wrong sometimes, but he sets me straight and is usually right'."Long snapper: Robert Jones, senior (West Caldwell, NJ / James Caldwell HS)
Returning starter who has snapped each of the past three seasons and totaled 11 tackles.
From last summer: "I don’t like to have a bunch of snaps. If I have 10 to 20 good snaps, that’s better than snapping the ball 50 times. Working on my protection is a big thing, too. Last year we didn’t have a punt blocked and the year before I think we had one. So that’s just something I have to work on to improve."