Two Beacons in the Dark

In a St. John’s football season filled with much disappointment and frustration, their are two bright spots shining on the defensive side of the ball – Bobby Rosenberg and Frank Rullo.

The junior linebackers are making there presence felt each and every week as they sit among the leading tacklers in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference.

Rosenberg is leading the conference with a total of 64 tackles in four games averaging an impressive 16 per game, which also ranks first among all Division I-AA defenders.

Rosenberg has been among the top tacklers in the MAAC all-season long, accumulating two sacks and a fumble recovery to go with his league-leading totals.

“Bobby is the consummate captain. He’s done a great job for us this season and we’re proud to see him on top among Division I-AA tacklers,” St. John’s Head Coach Bob Ricca said. “It’s a great honor and he deserves the national recognition because of his work ethic.”

Rullo is not far behind, currently fourth in the conference with 41 tackles, an average of 10.2 per game.

The two have combined to form one of the most formidable linebacker corps in the league.

“We trust each other so it allows us to become more aggressive,” Rullo said. “We know that on every play we have each other’s backs.”

“Our whole defense takes pride in the statistics,” Rosenberg said. “The defensive line has been playing great, the secondary has done a great job at covering people, so we have been freed up to make a bunch of tackles.”

Rullo and Rosenberg have taken different paths in getting to St. John’s but both have worked extremely hard to make their impact felt.

Rullo was captain of his St. Francis Prep H.S. team, starring at middle linebacker and participating in the New York City All-Star game his senior season. He decided to don the red and white because it allowed him to stay close to home.

Rosenberg was basically born with a helmet and shoulder pads on.

He comes from a football family – his father has been a coach for over thirty years and his brother was a member of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish in the early nineties.

He began playing at the age of five and has not stopped since. He attended Cardinal Mooney H.S. in Sarasota, Fla., where he was named to the Gatorade All-Academic team as a high school senior.

“Football is just in my blood,” Rosenberg said.

Rosenberg was recruited by a number of Patriot League teams as well as many invitations from big time Division I schools to walk on, but he knew St. John’s was the place for him as soon as he set foot on campus.

“When I came up here to visit, the guys were really awesome and that is the biggest reason I decided to come here,” Rosenberg said.

Despite all the recognition and good praise Rullo and Rosenberg have received for their individual accomplishments, they still remain focused on improving the team as a whole.

“We may be smaller than most teams we play,” Rullo said, “but we play with a lot of heart each and every time we go out there.”

“Our team is beginning to click as a unit and when it does we are going to rock and roll and be a force in this conference,” Rosenberg said.