Connect with us


Secondary hoping to be a position of strength for Rutgers



Sep 3, 2022; Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, USA; Rutgers Scarlet Knights cornerback Robert Longerbeam (7) and Rutgers Scarlet Knights cornerback Max Melton (16) celebrate after an interception by Longerbeam during the second half against the Boston College Eagles at Alumni Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports

After Rutgers football’s fifth practice of spring camp on Thursday, cornerbacks coach Mark Orphey spoke with the media. In his second season, he leads arguably the strongest position group as of right now. Proven secondary contributors in Max Melton, Robert Longerbeam, and Kessawn Abraham are the veterans in the room now.

As far as the entire secondary coached by Drew Lascari, Rutgers relied heavily on three safeties last season. Christian Izien, Avery Young and Christian Braswell are all gone and replacing their production won’t be easy. However, RU returns Shaquan Loyal and Desmond Igbinosun. In addition, the program added transfers Flip Dixon, Eric Rogers and Charles Amankwaa to the roster. Depth is needed both for the rotation and in case of injuries. Last season, both Longerbeam and Igbinosun missed significant time.

“[For] what we do, schematically, we feel that we have the personnel we need to do what we need to do,” Orphey said. “Now, it’s just for us and the rest of the staff to come up with ways to put them in a position to go out there and execute a little bit better. It’s a really good group. I love the energy. They’re really focused and locked in.”

Asked what the group has improved on the most, Orphey pointed out how the players are communicating well with each other.

“The biggest thing for me is they are holding each other accountable,” Orphey said. “When they make a mistake on the field, I hear them on the sideline and the other corners correcting and coaching them up. When you do that, you build a culture and you know you’re taking the right steps as a team. We’ve been doing a good job with that, especially with the young kids that we have.”

Coach Orphey said that both of the transfers are acclimating well.

“For starters, they’re us,” Orphey said about his transfers Dixon, Rogers and Amankwaa, whose brother Thomas enters his second season in the Rutgers secondary. “We identified that in the recruiting process. We knew they were good football players, but more importantly to us, we wanted to make sure we got the right kids who would fit the program. You wouldn’t even know they’re transfers because they get along with everybody. The guys love them and took them in immediately. As a coach, you see that and it just warms your heart because sometimes that doesn’t happen.”

Thanks for reading the The Scarlet Faithful. For more Rutgers Athletics content from The Scarlet Faithful, follow us on Twitter and Instagram. You can also subscribe to our YouTube ChannelYou can subscribe to The Scarlet Faithful podcast on AppleSpotify, Pocket Casts and anywhere else you listen to podcasts. For advertising inquiries or to reach out directly, email at

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. thevinman

    April 11, 2023 at 3:48 am

    We definitely have talent in the defensive backfield.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *