Rutgers football lost two critical safeties after last season due to longtime starters Christian Izien and Avery Young now fighting for roster spots in the NFL. Both players were major contributors for this team over the last few years. Finding suitable replacements is critical as Rutgers typically plays three safeties in a 4-2-5 defensive scheme.
Desmond Igbinosun returns and has been a positive factor in the back of the Rutgers defense in the past. He did fight through injuries last season. However, Igbinosun has a chance to be a leader in the secondary and help push the defense foward this season.
Shaquan Loyal has shown flashes in the past and will have an opportunity to seize a starting role in 2023. He saved the day in the win against Temple with a pick six late in the game. His combination of speed and physicality give him a chance to be a impact player for Rutgers this season.
Michael “Flip” Dixon transferred to Rutgers this offseason. He played in 30 games at Minnesota and reunites with Rutgers defensive coordinator Joe Harasymiak. Dixon is a strong, physical player who could fill the void of Izien in regard to the type of role he played for the defense.
Who else can step up and play well for this team out of the back of the defense and more are discussed on this episode.
Listen and watch to the sixth of ten positional previews regarding the safeties below. Joining me for all of these positional preview episodes is football writer and Rutgers fan David Anderson.
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