What a time to be alive! In the midst of this bipolar weather we’re experiencing here in New Jersey (as I wave to the approaching nor’easter), we get to talk football. Yes, you read that right, football.
The Rutgers Scarlet Knights took to the bubble today in Piscataway, New Jersey to start their first practice of spring football camp. This will be a crucial time for the Scarlet Knights as they look to install new offensive coordinator John McNulty’s system.
McNulty is Rutgers’ ninth coach to take over the position in as many years. It’s also his second stint with Rutgers, as he served under Greg Schiano from 2007-2008 before leaving to join the Arizona Cardinals staff.
Last year the Scarlet Knights yielded the No. 121 ranked scoring offense and with the loss of some key seniors, there’s plenty of positions up for grabs on the offense.
Here we’ll take a look at three offensive position battles to look out for during the spring.
What was a bright spot for the Scarlet Knights last season took some hits during this offseason.
Michael Maietti and Zach Vanesky could battle it out at the other spot. Maietti filled in for center Jonah Jackson last season formidably, so the idea of Jackson sliding out from center to guard can’t be lost either.
Pop Quiz! Which returning Rutgers wide receiver nabbed over 100 receiving yards last season?
The answer is zero, zip, zilch.
If you guessed correctly there should be some sort of confetti falling around you. No? Let’s just get on with it then.
The Scarlet Knights sent their leading returning receiver in Dacoven Bailey packing after a sexual assault arrest back in his home state of Texas. Not that he made much of a difference anyway.
The passing game was nearly non-existent with the quarterback play last season (we’ll get to that), but the talent is there.
Former four-star receiver Bo Melton is on breakout watch after a sluggish true freshman season. Hunter Hayek and Everett Wormley both showed ample enough promise to be contributors.
Look out for Tyler Hayek, twin brother of Hunter, who offers size at the position. Eddie Lewis, a 2017 recruit, could also contribute after lighting it up during his prep season at Milford Academy. Lewis finished the year with 1,072 and 15 touchdowns.
So, this was sweet.
The moment you’ve all been waiting for, the quarterback position. To be quite honest the room is oozing with talent for McNulty to take advantage of.
Where do I start? Four-Star 2018 recruit Artur Sitkowsi played out his senior season at the renowned IMG Academy but is an Old Bridge, New Jersey native. He’d probably have the leg up over another highly touted recruit Jalen Chatman, who ventured from the yonder state of California.
Chatman Is more of a dual threat and can use his legs capably. Johnathan Lewis shined in spurts last season as a true freshman, splitting time towards the end of the season.
The incumbent Giovanni Rescigno also has a chance to hold to the starting job. Last but certainly not least is Tom Flacco, yes, Joe’s brother, who started 13 games for Western Michigan before transferring back to dirty Jersey.
It looks to be a wide-open competition where the best, regardless of seniority, should play. It’ll be interesting to see who leads the way leading up to the spring game.