Rutgers reunion between Bucs, Patriots
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- With a combined 17 Rutgers products on the teams’ 90-man preseason rosters, the Bucs and Patriots could have fielded a pretty good team with those players alone.
The unusual nature of the situation wasn’t lost on anyone, including Patriots coach Bill Belichick, who has not tried to hide his fondness for Bucs coach Greg Schiano’s former college players.
He cracked that school officials should have attended and “get some alumni donations going.”
Bucs center Jeremy Zuttah, a former Rutgers standout, arrived at the school in 2004, when Schiano was still digging the program out of a hole.
“There was only like three of us in the league back then,” Zuttah said. “It’s been fun to be a part of. The first couple years, there’s a couple guys here or there. Now, it’s like we’ve got a couple of guys on every team we play every week. It’s great.”
But teammates Carl Nicks and Davin Joseph remain unimpressed, Zuttah said.
“Carl is from Nebraska and Davin in from Oklahoma,” he said. “They’re always throwing around Rutgers jokes. But I think we’re up there with them in numbers. That’s pretty cool.”
Of the nine former Scarlet Knights playing for Belichick, Schiano said, “I’m happy those guys are getting an opportunity to play for somebody who is a good person and a great football coach. That’s what I want for the kids that we recruited and brought there.”