The 2010 Rutgers football season gets underway Thursday at Rutgers Stadium against Norfolk State. It seems everywhere you look, Rutgers is being picked for fifth place in the Big East.
Fair ranking? At this point, probably. There are to many questions that remain unanswered.
There is great potential for this Rutgers team to surprise a lot of people. This years Rutgers team is very young, but very talented. The offense has a lot of guys with tremendous speed and athletic ability. The potential for this years Rutgers offense is incredible.
They return star power in quarterback Tom Savage and wide receiver Mohamed Sanu, both Sophomores. Also returning is veteran running back “Jersey” Joe Martinek. After these three players, the question marks start, as well as the potential.
The offensive line is still an unknown quanitity. Can this group gell? That may just be the key to the 2010 season for the Scarlet Knights. If the offensive line can pull it together as a group, the Big East should watch out for Rutgers.
The offensive line, led by CBS Sports Preseason All-Big East selection Art Forst, must pave the way for the running backs as well as give Savage time to throw.
There is a tremendous amount of talent at the skill positions for Rutgers. The only concern is the inexperience. Many of the impact players are young.
Behind Martinek on the backfield depth chart is a freshman that will see a lot of action. Jordan Thomas, a true freshman from Endicott, New York, brings a speed factor to the Rutgers running game. Thomas also brings an element to the passing game. He entered camp as a wide receiver before moving to running back. Savage could utilize Thomas with screen passes.
Martinek and Thomas could very well become a force for Rutgers. A power and speed combo worthy of a nickname? We will have to wait and see before answering that question, but the potential is there.
Senior Kordell Young is still a dangerous player, despite once again returning from surgery. Young will be used in third down situations.
The depth does not stop there. Rutgers also has speed sophomore De’Antwan Williams and freshman Casey Turner and Jawan Jamison.
Rutgers biggest impact freshman may be wide receiver Jeremy Deering. Originally thought of as the player to run the wild cat package and play the slot receiver position, Deering may be forced into a starting role. With the injuries at wide out for Rutgers, Deering has stepped up and caught the coaching staffs attention.
A speedy true freshman from Florida, Deering is a pure athlete. He may also help Rutgers on special teams. Expect to see Deering in many roles, similar to the way coach Greg Schiano used Mohamed Sanu last season.
Rutgers has depth at wide reciever despite the injuries. Mason Robinson from Somerville, New Jersey has moved back to receiver. Rutgers would love to get this guy on the field as much as possible. Robinson has shown flashes of what he can do. He needs to stay healthy.
You can also expect to see Mark Harrison and freshman J.T. Tartacoff. Both players are recovering from injuries but are expected to return as early as the season opener. Harrison is a large target for Tom Savage while Tartacoff is a sure handed speedster.
With all these targets, it’s easy to forget about tight end D.C. Jefferson. The 6-6, 258 pounder was a quarterback before moving to tight end last season.
Now having a full season and training camp at the tight end spot, Jefferson could be a major piece to the Rutgers offense.
Jefferson is one of the keys to the team this year. He showed everyone what he could do last season, and now he has more knowledge of his new position. He will provide Savage with a safety valve is the other receivers can not get open.
Redshirt freshman Paul Carrezola and Malcolm Bush figure to see time at tight end as well.
As you can see, the potential for Rutgers to have a big time offense is there. However, potential is a dangerous word. It all starts with the big boys up front. If the offensive line comes together quickly, Rutgers could be staring at a very successful season in 2010.
Be sure to tune in to Double G Sports Radio today at 6pm EST for a Rutgers Football season preview. You can also follow Double G Sports on twitter @DoubleGSports and search for Double G Sports on facebook.