Vallone preps for pro career

Audio/Story posted April 24, 2013 in CommRadio, Sports, NFL Draft by Dan Cronin

Scott Vallone made his first career start as a redshirt freshman at defensive tackle in a Labor Day game against Cincinnati in 2009. The Scarlet Knights have played 51 games between then and now and Vallone started every one. 

It’s not uncommon for players to sit out their first year while adjusting to the college game and Vallone said the year off gave him the chance to learn from the sidelines.

“The stress of the game wasn’t on me,” Vallone said. “I was able to learn from seniors that were in front of me. I learned how to prepare, watch film and practice under them.” 

He came to Rutgers as a highly touted prospect from St. Anthony’s High School on Long Island where he was honored as the New York Daily News Player of the Year as a senior. 

The defensive tackle from Central Islip, NY met his high expectations during his four-year career. He racked up 195 tackles, 37.5 tackles for loss and 8.5 tackles for loss in his 51 starts. 

The Rutgers football program was hit with a tragedy in 2010 when Vallone’s teammate Eric LeGrand was paralyzed in a game against Army. 

“At first it was very difficult to handle,” Vallone said. “Seeing him go down like that was really hard for me.”

Rutgers struggled the rest of the 2010 season, but LeGrand later became a rallying point for his team in 2011 and 2012. 

“He definitely helped inspire me, the whole Rutgers program and the whole Rutgers community.”  

After his senior season was over Vallone went down to Florida to start training for his pro day. He focused on speed and strength work, while also adding size.

Right now Vallone believes his biggest asset is his agility and he hopes to accentuate that as much as possible as he tries to make it at the next level. 

“I was really able to use my quickness against offensive lineman last year,” Vallone said. “I think that was something I used to my advantage.”

Vallone said the biggest thing he needs to improve on at this point is his pass rushing ability. 

“I think I missed about five or six sacks last year,” he said. “I think that’ll be one of the areas of focus in my training coming up.”

Vallone has an NFL connection in his former head coach at Rutgers Greg Schiano. Schiano is currently the head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Vallone hopes he’s given the opportunity to show what he can do regardless of what team picks him up.  

“I just want to make an impact from day one in any way that I can,” Vallone said. “Whether it’s 10 snaps a game or 50 snaps a game, I would like to make an impact on whatever team I go to.”

Dan Cronin is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism and is ComRadio’s Production Director. To contact him, email