Glaud embraces hybrid role
Entering a matchup with a triple-option offense that will test the Rutgers football team’s front seven, junior Ka’Lial Glaud said he is growing increasingly comfortable at defensive end.
“But now I’m getting a taste of linebacker again,” he said.
Glaud spent the spring as the first-team middle linebacker before moving to defensive end, but an injury to backup David Milewski last week prompted his move back.
Head coach Greg Schiano listed Nick DePaola as the new backup on the depth chart and expressed confidence in the sophomore Monday, but also said he does not believe Glaud forgot how to play the position.
The 6-foot-2, 230-pound Glaud agrees, although he said he is spending more time in meeting rooms with linebackers than he is with defensive linemen.
“We tweaked some things since the springtime with our scheme, but any question I have in the meeting room or on the field, I shoot to Steve [Beauharnais] real quick and he tells me,” Glaud said. “Through the summertime I learned the whole defense, so I have a pretty good knowledge of every position on the field.”
It is unlikely Glaud is reintroducing himself to middle linebacker for anything more than an emergency backup role.
Beauharnais managed the position as a starter last season, but he is making plays there this year. The junior has 25 tackles, 2.5 sacks, two interceptions, a forced fumble and one recovery.
Glaud has eight tackles, one sack and two fumble recoveries at defensive end.
“I definitely feel confident at whatever position I play right now between linebacker and defensive end. I feel 100 percent confident,” Glaud said. “I guess I’m a hybrid kind of guy right now, and I’m getting used to playing both positions.”
True freshman cornerback Tejay Johnson debuted in the season opener against North Carolina Central, but Schiano said yesterday a hamstring injury prevented Johnson from playing since.
“He keeps trying to practice,” Schiano said. “Maybe we just need to put him on the shelf for a while. He wants to play so bad.”
Johnson signed a National Letter of Intent with the Scarlet Knights in 2010, but did not qualify academically and went to Fork Union Military Academy last year.
The Egg Harbor Township High School product did not play football at Fork Union, arrived at Rutgers as a wide receiver, then moved to cornerback during training camp.
“In the short time he was at corner, he showed really good skills,” Schiano said. “I think he can be a really good corner. I know he can. We just have to get him healthy. I hope we can do that this year.”
Preparing for Navy’s offense is a year-round affair in Piscataway.
Rutgers practices against the triple-option during spring and summer camps, and also during Sunday night practices during the season. Schiano spends the offseason studying the offense and keeps a library on every form of it — from Army to Navy to Paul Johnson at Georgia Tech.
Still, Schiano enjoys having Army and Navy on his schedule consistently.
“I love the fact that we play the academies, so maybe it’s the traditionalist in me,” Schiano said. “We’re so grateful for what these kids do for our country. They need to play somebody and it’s an Eastern rival. It’s good for Eastern football.”