Spring Opportunities Coming at Quarterback

Gary Nova

The upcoming spring will be a competitive one for Rutgers quarterbacks with everyone getting a chance to replace Chas Dodd as the starter. Speaking to the media on a season-recap teleconference Monday, Rutgers coach Kyle Flood detailed the quarterback situation heading into spring camp.

Rising senior Gary Nova is the favorite to re-gain his spot as starting quarterback this spring, but coach Kyle Flood will give everyone an opportunity to take over during 15 practices this semester.

Nova lost his job to Chas Dodd at the end of the 2013 season, and spent the last three games on the bench. Going into spring, Flood does not plan to announce his depth chart until closer to practice time but stated that everyone will get a chance to compete.

"We've got a lot of quarterbacks on our roster right now and every one of them is going to get more than enough snaps this spring so that we can figure out who the starting quarterback will be as we go into next season," Flood said.

Nova is the lone quarterback on the roster with in-game experience, holding a key advantage, but the competition has many more factors.

Starting experience is a factor, but Nova's production trended downward in each of his two seasons as the starter. Flood wants to see a quarterback that shows consistent improvement.

"I will be more than comfortable playing the quarterback that does the best job protecting the football, making the right decisions that we coach them to make and then locating the football as best he can," Flood said. "I think experience is great as long as you're improving. Ultimately right now at the position, we need to find the quarterback on our roster who can do those three things better than the other quarterbacks."

Behind Nova, Rutgers has rising junior Mike Bimonte, sophomore Blake Rankin, red-shirt freshman Chris Laviano and walk-on Devin Ray.

Rutgers is also involved in the recruitment of junior college quarterback Daniel Fitzwater, who would be eligible for spring practice should he sign with the Scarlet Knights.

Bimonte is a former two-star recruit that chose the Scarlet Knights over Temple. Rankin, a three-star prospect, had no other offers and Laviano, another two-star recruit, enrolled early over an offer from Boston College.

"What I expect from [Nova] going forward is what I expect everybody at that position to do – protect the football, make good decisions, and then when you do throw it, throw it in a location where we coached to throw it," Flood said. "Those are the three most important things, I think, about that position and that's not just Gary. That's Gary, that's Chris Laviano, that's Mike Bimonte, Blake Rankin et cetera.

"I think all of those guys will be competing to do those things as well as they can do them and the guy who does them the best will be the starting quarterback."

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