PISCATAWAY, NJ - After dealing with rain and threatening skies for each of the first four days of training camp, the Rutgers football team began Sunday's practice under similar conditions. After retreating to the locker room during a stretch of rain and lightning, the team re-emerged to summer-like conditions for the remainder of its practice, the first session in full pads.
Rutgers' practice ended with a 37-yard field goal by Ryan Sands, as the team erupted over his successful kick with the sun blazing down on the practice fields. Head coach Greg Schiano challenged Sands to make the kick and end practice immediately, or prolong the session with an errant kick. Sands split the uprights perfectly, much to the enjoyment of his teammates.
Schiano praised the play of his top two signal callers - Ryan Hart and Ted Trump - today saying, "I thought they both had a good day. They do a good job of pushing each other."
Junior defensive end Piana Lukabu received the yellow jersey for practice, new to Rutgers' camp this year. Awarded prior to each practice, Schiano uses it as both a reward and motivational tool.
"It is not necessarily a reward - it is also a challenge," said Schiano. "I am looking for someone who can meet the challenge and raise it up a notch when he puts (the yellow jersey) on."
The clear skies triggered a good crowd of spectators today, despite the rain to commence practice. Among those in attendance were former NY Giants quarterback Phil Simms, who was making his first appearance at an RU practice this season.
"I enjoy coming out to practice and I want to show my support to Greg and the program," said Simms.
Fans have six more days of open practice sessions, beginning with a double session on Monday (8:20 a.m., RAC fields/3:20 p.m.) and the team's first scrimmage at 10:15 a.m. on Tuesday, to be held inside Rutgers Stadium.