Chris Ash Defends Rutgers' Use of the Circle Drill

By D.J. Byrnes on April 20, 2016 at 9:49 am

Chris Ash took Urban Meyer's blueprint with him to Rutgers. He's instilled things like a black stripe program, the St. Valentine's Day massacre workout, and a vicarious use of the circle drill.

For the uninitiated, an Urban Meyer rendition of the circle drill can be seen above. It's a staple of the Ohio State program, but this is a new age of football safety

Some schools have dialed back on high-intensity contact drills like the circle drill. Rutgers is not one of those programs.


That, Ash said, includes the drill he calls "Ring of Honor.'' The drill features one offensive player matching up with a defensive counterpart in what turns out to be a 1-on-1 scrum in the middle of 100 cheering teammates.

"It just reinforces all the things that we want: We want players that will compete. We want players that play with good football position. We want players that use their hands the right way. And we want players that when their number is called they can go out and be ready to go in front of their peers,'' Ash said last week, explaining why he likes using the drill on occasion. "It's a competitive drill. It's a fundamental drill. And it's one that is a great tempo-setter for the start of practice. I love it. We're going to continue to do it. I think it's a great way to start the day.''

Ash added if injuries do become a problem, Rutgers would scrap the circle drill. The Scarlet Knights open their 2016 season Sept. 3 against the University of Washington in Seattle.

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