When Kyle Flood took over the head coaching position for the Rutgers University football program, you had to believe changes would be made on the offensive line. After all, Flood had been a O-Line coach for years. It’s his specialty.
Flood released his post-spring two-deep depth chart and both the offensive and defensive lines have some significant movement.
Just one player is in the same spot as he was prior to spring practices. Kaleb Johnson remains in as the starting left tackle for the Scarlet Knights. Johnson did not participate in spring practice because he is recovering from off-season surgery.
On the other end of the line, at right tackle, is now R.J. Dill. Dill is a transfer from Maryland who many expected to step right in and start for Rutgers. Dill is taking over for Taj Alexander, who was listed as the right tackle starter prior to spring.
Alexander is now listed as the starter at right guard. Flood moved Alexander to right guard late in spring and apparently liked what he saw. He is the lone starter remaining from last season’s final game, the Pinstripe Bowl.
Entering spring, Betim Bujari was the starting left guard. Not anymore. Bujari is now listed as the starting center with David Osei and Antwan Lowery even in the battle for the starting left guard spot.
While the changes continue, I think it’s fair to give Flood the benefit of the doubt with this. He is trying to find the right combination. However, with that said, there is something to be said about cementing players in their slots and letting them gel.
The defensive line is also a work in progress. Scott Vallone is the leader in this group and has a strangle hold on one of the defensive tackle spots. Moving in along side him is Isaac Holmes. Holmes impressed Flood and the coaching staff enough during spring practice to be giving a starting spot after being listed as a backup.
Jamil Merrell is listed as the backup to Vallone. Merrell was previously a backup at defensive end. The backup to Holmes is undetermined at this point. Al Page and Marquise Wright are equally listed as backups.
Defensive end has been a question mark for Rutgers the past few years and 2012 appears to be no different. Flood was unable to list a starter at either end spot. Michael Larrow and Marcus Thompson are listed on once side with Ka’Lial Glaud and Marvin Booker on the other. The Scarlet Knights needs a couple of these players to step up in a big way.
Both lines will be very important to Rutgers if they plan to take the next step toward a Big East title. Of course there is still plenty of time for the depth chart to go through more changes once training camp opens in August and the true freshman begin to make their case for playing time.
Other Depth Chart Notes:
- Brandon Coleman and Mark Harrison are the starting wide receivers, holding off Tim Wright and Quron Pratt.
- To no surprise, no starters were listed at quarterback (Chas Dodd and Gary Nova) or running back (Jawan Jamison and Savon Huggins).
- D.C. Jefferson and Paul Carrezola are still in a locked battle for the starting tight end spot.
- Sophomore Kevin Snyder is listed as even with Jamal Merrell at one of the outside linebacker spots.
- Rutgers will count on Mason Robinson returning to health this season. The sixth year senior is listed as a backup cornerback and starting punt returner.
- True freshman Kyle Federico has grabbed the starting placekicker spot, holding off Nick DeLouisa so far.
- Third string running back and former walk-on Paul James joins Jeremy Deering as the starting kick returners.
For the full post-spring two-deep depth chart, visit ScarletKnights.com