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Rutgers Football: 2017 Quarterback Breakdown
- Updated: March 20, 2017
Before the Rutgers Scarlet Knights begin the 2017 season, they need to find one thing. In reality, the Scarlet Knights need a lot, but first and foremost, they need a starting quarterback. After a tumultuous season that led to a 2-10 record, three quarterbacks transferred out of the program. Due to the mass evacuations, the Scarlet Knights are down to one quarterback with legitimate experience. Yet, it should be a promising season for Rutgers football.
Chris Laviano, Hayden Rettig, and Mike Dare left the program for better opportunities in consecutive days. Laviano commenced last season as the No. 1 quarterback. However, junior Giovanni Rescigno replaced Laviano midway through the year. He completed 86-of-163 passes for 849 yards with five touchdown and five interceptions. Due to Rescigno’s ability to compete during the Big Ten season, the majority of the quarterbacks knew the writing was on the wall. As a result, Rescigno is the No. 1 quarterback during spring practice. But will he remain the top signal caller in the fall?
Overall, the Scarlet Knights threw 11 touchdown passes last season. They also only threw seven interceptions. That shows how much the offense did not rely on the passing game. Their aerial progression was greatly hindered by the absence of wide receiver Janarion Grant. Therefore, Rescigno should have a great chance to upgrade the passing attack next season.
The Scarlet Knights received 26 commitments in the 2017 class. Only one recruit is projected to play quarterback. Johnathan Lewis is the No. 16 Dual-threat quarterback recruit in the 2017 class. He didn’t enroll early, so chances of Lewis becoming a factor this season are slim to none. However, Lewis seems like the quarterback of the future.
Rutgers Scarlet Knights- Backup Quarterbacks
The Scarlet Knights have three more quarterbacks on the current roster. Sophomore Tylin Oden played sparingly during his freshman season. He accounted for 144 rushing yards on 37 carries. Oden also completed 1-of-8 passes last season. Standing at 6-foot-5 and 186 pounds, Oden is the tallest prospect that has a chance to make an impact on the growing program.
Meanwhile, Zach Allen and Troy Anthony are returning for their 5th-years. Allen only completed 1-of-12 passes for the Scarlet Knights last season. Allen was a member of the TCU Horned Frogs for three seasons before heading to Rutgers. It will be interesting to see if Allen can earn meaningful reps as a quarterback. Otherwise, he may receive a few snaps at wide receiver. He was able to play multiple positions with the Horned Frogs.
In the end, the Scarlet Knights’ offense will be relying on Rescigno’s ability to lead. The overall talent level should increase. Therefore, Rescigno has a chance to surprise the rest of the Big Ten with his play. They may even win enough games to earn a bowl bid.
Harrison has covered NFL, NBA, and CBB in the past. Earlier in his career, he was a national college football writer and Team writer for Husker Corner. Harrison also created the college football "Treat 16 Power Poll" some years back when college coaches relied on the running game.