posted on Wednesday, December 26, 2012 at 8:16 PM
Today’s Rutgers football practice was unlike any other this year, ending with 17 seniors being carried off the field on the shoulders of their teammates. Greg Schiano started this tradition back in 2001 in his first season as Rutgers coach. Amazingly, even the senior offensive linemen, in particular fifth-year senior Devon Watkis who weighs in at 320 lbs., were carried off by position teammates.
“One of the important things in these bowl games for the seniors is to allow the emotions to be about winning a championship and then all the emotions about the relationships that you’ve built and the love you may have for the program you played in," said coach Kyle Flood after practice. "Those emotions can’t help you be 1-0 this week, so you got to let you emotions be about competing, emotions about being 1-0 and the opportunity to win a championship.”
“Really, now, everything just continues, the emotion level continues to build and the intensity level continues to build, but it’s a little bit different, bowl games are different," Flood said. "Today we had an event, a great event, and it’s a tremendous thing for our players to be there but you’re there with the other team, so that doesn’t happen during the regular season and tomorrow will be the same.”
“With the luncheon tomorrow, that will be a great event for the players, but its something we don’t generally do the day before a game to be with the other team, so those are things that you want to always make sure do them well and represent your university well and we will do that and when they are over, you have to get locked back in and you have to get focused and back into your routines,” Flood said.
“It felt great to just finish this last practice on top," said fifth-year senior WR Tim Wright. "We’ve known each other for a long time, developed a lot of great relationships, and you just want to go out on top and be victorious at the end of the day.”
Tomorrow will round out the team’s events and in less than 48 hours, the Scarlet Knights will take on the Hokies on Friday, December 28 at 5:30PM on ESPN.