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The 5 biggest questions confronting Rutgers entering open practice

Rutgers faced copiousness of questions final year, though many of
those pertained to a team’s ability to contest in a Big Ten.

The Scarlet Knights answered many of those questions with a
surprising 8-5 record. Now, manager Kyle Flood faces a plea of replacing
many of a pivotal contributors to final season’s success.

Rutgers earnings a sum of 11 starters (six defense, five
offense). Additionally, descent coordinator Ralph Friedgen has been replaced
after stepping down into an advisory role

With so many new faces in critical roles, there is plenty
of work to do this offseason. The credentials for a arriving deteriorate starts in
earnest subsequent week when Rutgers opens open use on Monday.

Here are a 5 biggest questions confronting a organisation heading
into open practice:

1. Will anyone emerge in a quarterback competition?

Chris Laviano and Hayden Rettig will title the conflict to
replace four-year starter Gary Nova
. Giovanni Rescigno done strides during
his redshirt season,
though unless he’s softened significantly in a past three
months, he’s not nonetheless a critical contender for a starting job.

Expect Laviano to open a open with a slight corner based
on his knowledge final season
. The redshirt sophomore corroborated adult Nova and
appeared in 5 games, completing 11-of-28 passes for 107 yards, no touchdowns
and an interception.

Meanwhile, Rettig was singular to scout-team avocation as he sat
out final deteriorate
after transferring from LSU. The 6-foot-3, 205-pounder’s
arm strength was clear from a initial training stay use final summer, but
he’s had singular opportunities to run Rutgers’ offense.

Rettig and Laviano will get copiousness of reps this open in
first-time coordinator Ben McDaniels’ offense. It’s rarely approaching that the
battle for a many critical position on a organisation will extend into a summer,
but one quarterback could pierce forward in a foe this spring.

2. How many will a offense change underneath new coordinator
Ben McDaniels?

It’s unfit to know accurately what a offense will look
like underneath first-time coordinator Ben McDaniels, who was promoted from wide
receivers manager in Feb
after Friedgen stepped down. McDaniels didn’t
reveal many about his skeleton when he was introduced
, though it’s tough to suppose the
new play-caller deviate from Flood’s elite pro-style offense.

Rutgers earnings a tip 8 rushers from final season, led
by comparison Paul James, who will skip a open as he recovers from a ripped ACL,
and sophomores Josh Hicks and Robert Martin. The using diversion will take a hit
from a depart of fullback Michael Burton and 3 starting offensive
linemen, though it seems like a protected gamble that McDaniels will gaunt on a rushing
attack, quite with an fresh starting quarterback.

The Scarlet Knights remove low hazard Andrew Turzilli and
tight finish Tyler Kroft, though lapse 4 receivers who had during slightest 19 catches
last season. Senior Leonte Carroo (55 catches for 1,086 yards and 10
touchdowns) leads a group, and McDaniels will need to find ways to fight the
extra courtesy a tip receiver will attract.

McDaniels, who is a younger hermit of Patriots offensive
coordinator Josh McDaniels
, had a vital purpose in formulation and a on-field
communication during games final season. But a 34-year-old has never called a
play before so open use will yield a initial glance of his descent schemes.

3. Will an unproven descent line start to jell?

Having an fresh quarterback or an inexperienced
offensive line is formidable to overcome. Rutgers is faced with both of those

The descent line was plain final deteriorate opposite a steady
diet of destiny NFL defensive linemen. Rutgers authorised only 19 sacks in 13 games
and a organisation averaged 4.3 yards per lift notwithstanding a revolving doorway during running

The Scarlet Knights contingency reinstate left ensure Kaleb Johnson,
center Betim Bujari and right tackle Taj Alexander, who total for 113 career
starts. Senior Keith Lumpkin (26 true starts) is confirmed during left tackle
and youth Chris Muller (25 true starts) will male one of a interior

Junior J.J. Denman is in line to take over during right tackle
after rotating in for 8 games final season. The other dual spots are wide
open with juniors Derrick Nelson and Ryan Brodie, sophomore Dorian Miller and
redshirt beginner Tariq Cole battling for dual starting spots.

Flood will approaching stagger players some-more this deteriorate after
having a same starting lineup each diversion final year. But he’s still looking
for players to emerge, generally during center, that will assistance set a rest of
the line.

Rutgers descent breakdowns and projected starters

Rutgers defensive breakdowns and projected starters

4. Can Isaiah Johnson explain a staring center linebacker

The foe for a starting center linebacker job won’t
be motionless until graduate send Kaiwan Lewis arrives from South Carolina
this summer
. But youth college send Isaiah Johnson is in position to stake
his explain to fill a biggest hole in a defense.

The 6-foot-2, 225-pound Johnson, who spent a past two
seasons during City College of San Francisco,
enrolled during Rutgers in January. He was
expected to initial conflict L.J. Liston during center linebacker, though the youth was
dismissed from a organisation by Flood progressing this month

Liston’s exclusion gives Johnson an event to earn
significant reps during open practice. Redshirt beginner Brandon Russell
could plea Johnson if a 210-pounder has bulked up.

There’s also a probability that diseased side linebacker Steve
Longa could pierce to a middle, though ideally a youth will stay put if Johnson
— or Lewis — can explain a center linebacker job.

5. Are a immature players prepared to step adult on defense?

There are copiousness of holes to fill in a invulnerability that allowed
the many yards in module story final season. Rutgers loses starters during nose
tackle, defensive end, center linebacker, cornerback and both reserve spots.

While Freshman All-America Kemoko Turay should step in at
defensive finish and there’s a good brew of veterans and youngsters at
cornerback, many of those spots will be filled by fresh players.

There is copiousness of hum around redshirt beginner Kiy Hester,
a Wayne local who eliminated from Miami final September. The former
four-star partisan will be approaching to step into a lineup immediately at
strong safety

Redshirt beginner Kevin Wilkins flashed his intensity last
season in use and a 290-pounder brings many indispensable distance to a defensive line. He’ll
see movement along with redshirt sophomore Sebastian Joseph during nose tackle.

For a invulnerability to improve, Hester and Wilkins will need
to infer prepared to step up.

Dan Duggan might be reached during dduggan@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @DDuggan21. Find NJ.com Rutgers Football on Facebook.


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