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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Haslam good to go

Restless but not rusty, Kevin Haslam returned to the practice field today, saying his ankle is feeling “100 percent” and that he won’t be at all limited Monday when Rutgers plays Fresno State in the season opener.

Haslam, the Knights’ starter at left guard, re-injured his surgically repaired right ankle two weeks ago and for a time, wasn’t certain if he’d be back on time for the opener.But the injury wasn’t as severe as he originally feared, and he returned yesterday, giving him five days to prepare for Monday’s game.

“I was a little frustrated, because I twisted it before, then I twisted it again, so I was like ‘oh no, not again,’” he said. “But you know what? I try to think past it and not worry about twisting it again.”

Haslam said the timing of his return was good for two reasons: he has some breathing room before Monday rolls around, and he got to come back on a day when the Knights were in full pads and doing full-contact drills.“I didn’t want to come back when we were in half pads,” Haslam said. “I prefer to come back when we’re actually hitting people.”

Haslam’s return solidifies the starting offensive line. Coach Greg Schiano said left tackle Anthony Davis, despite back soreness, will be good to go against Fresno, and redshirt freshman Caleb Ruch, despite struggling early in camp, has earned the starting job at right guard.

Fifth-year senior Mike Gilmartin will start at right tackle — just the second start of his career.Haslam, a fourth-year junior from Mahwah, said in order to not fall too far behind, he watched extra film each day after receiving treatment.

“It didn’t really affect me that much,” he said. I was in there watching film with everybody just to make sure I got the reps in my head.”


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