Safety Kiy Hester already captures eye of Rutgers' coaching staff
PISCATAWAY — After giving the pregame speech, Kiy Hester sat in the High Point Solution Stadium stands Dec. 6, watching the high school program he helped build win another sectional title.
In a few months, he can step onto the same field with meaning.
The highly touted Rutgers safety is redshirting after transferring from Miami (Fla). He has already gained the attention of Rutgers' staff as spring practice slowly approaches.
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"The coaches told me two guys are graduating, so the other freshmen and I have to step up to be ready to play," Hester said Tuesday. "We're going to get thrown into the competition. ... Next year I'm going to have to talk to them on the field. I might as well get ready now, get vocal, get used to each other."
Hester plans to watch film in the offseason with Lorenzo Waters, whom he could replace at strong safety, and a group of three other redshirting defensive backs.
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He has already earned the luxury of working privately with defensive coordinator Joe Rossi, who doubles as safeties coach, during individual periods and film sessions.
"He's so precise with everything, so when we're in meetings he'll tell you about your alignment, pressing the hips," said Hester, listed at 6-foot, 205 pounds. "We just have to keep working because at the end of the day he's our coach, so he's always watching us. We have to be perfect out there."
Hester spent Rutgers' first postseason Saturday as a spectator at DePaul Catholic's Non-Public Group 2 sectional title victory against Holy Spirit.
Led by running back Kareem Walker and brother Quayshon Alexander, both Rutgers offerees, DePaul won, 42-0, at Hester's future home stadium.
"They all looked up to me," Hester said. "Last year I was the vocal leader, and I had to calm some of them down when they got nervous. I can see coming in they were a little nervous, but once the first kick (happened) they were ready."