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Saturday, July 19, 2014

Proving it in Piscataway (No. 14 — Anthony Cioffi)

(AP photo)
By Tyler Barto
Twitter: @Tyler_Barto

Less than two weeks remain until the start of Rutgers training camp. This top-25 countdown will run infrequently, documenting who's got the most to prove in 2014.

No. 14 — CB Anthony Cioffi (6-foot, 180 pounds)

Why Cioffi's on the list: The slightly built Cioffi — or any of Rutgers' true freshmen — could've been the poster boy for the team's secondary struggles a year ago.

But Cioffi returns with the second-most starts (5) of any Rutgers corner from last season. More expectations will follow.

Injuries limited Cioffi during spring practice. Five true freshman defensive backs join the team for training camp. Will a new face emerge?

During training camp, keep an eye on: corners' familiarity with first-year defensive coordinator Joe Rossi.

Rossi spent the last two seasons working part-time in the secondary. He expects improvement from a school-worst unit, but says it's a "gradual process."

2014 outlook: One year later, little has changed.

Few currently know the makeup of Rutgers' maligned secondary, but a full offseason — first for several players — should improve Cioffi's and Rutgers' back four's stock.

More from the countdown: No. 13 — Daryl Stephenson
No. 15 — Delon Stephenson

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