Yardbarker Horiz

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Scarlet Knights flock to Tampa

Head Coach Greg Schiano was brought to Tampa Bay to instill a new "Buccaneer Way" with the players, emphasizing discipline, accountability, and commitment. Will Schiano's style and methods carry over to the NFL game?

Clearly his former players from Rutgers don't have a problem with it.

With the draft and summer practice sessions in the books, there are a total of 28 former Rutgers Scarlet Knights in the NFL.  Tampa Bay now counts seven (one fourth) of those players on it's roster.  The next highest concentration of Rutgers players? Three each for Cincinnati, New England, and Tennessee.

Here are the Scarlet Knights turned Buccaneers:
Player Pos Ht Wt Yrs
Gibson, Gary DT 6'3" 312 7
Johnson, George DE 6'4" 265 2
LeGrand, Eric DT 6'2" 275 0
Underwood, Tiquan WR 6'1" 183 4
Wynn, Desmond G 6'5" 295 0
Zuttah, Jeremy OG 6'4" 308 5
Roberson, Derrick DB 5'10" 180 2

Gary Gibson entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent in 2005 with the Baltimore Ravens and was on IR before his first season was complete.  In 2007 he signed with the Carolina Panthers and spent two seasons there, appearing in 12 games.  For the past three seasons, Gibson has been with the Saint Louis Rams and has appeared in 37 games with 22 starts.  He is a native of Plant City, Florida.

George Johnson entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent in 2010 with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.  He was an NFL sack leader during the 2011 preseason and appeared in four games for the Buccaneers last season.

Eric LeGrand entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent in 2011.  LeGrand was paralyzed while playing at Rutgers and, in a powerful display of dedication, Schiano and GM Mark Dominik have provided LeGrand with access to Tampa Bay Buccaneer team facilities to assist in his rehab, while the charismatic LeGrand brings his message about spinal cord injury to the Bay area.

Tiquan Underwood entered the NFL as a 7th round pick by the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2009 and appeared in 13 games over two years with the Jags.  Underwood spent the 2010 season with the New England Patriots, appearing in six games.

Desmond Wynn entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent in 2012 with Tampa Bay.

Jeremy Zuttah entered the NFL as a third round pick of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2008 and has been a member of the team ever since.  Zuttah has been a backup interior offensive linemen and has 44 starts at Guard, but with the departure of Jeff Faine this offseason should move into the starting lineup at center this year.  Zuttah has played in 15 or more games each of the past three seasons.

Derrick Roberson entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent with the Houston Texans in 2007 and has practice squad time with the Baltimore Ravens and Minnesota Vikings as well.  In 2009, Roberson signed with Tampa Bay, appearing in six games.  In 2010, Roberson signed with the Cleveland Browns and appeared in two games.  Roberson is a native of Pompano Beach. Florida.

These players understand Schiano's style, and Schiano understands the talents of these players.  While it is unlikely they all make the 53-man roster post-camp this season, they will have contributed significantly to the team this summer by advancing the understanding of what the Head Coach wants from his players.

So, for this season at least, these Scarlet Knights bring more than just a camp body to the roster.  No wonder the Buccaneers have cornered the market on Scarlet Knights in 2012.

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