Rutgers held their annual media day after their first scrimmage of training camp at High Point Solutions Stadium.
Head coach Kyle Flood was the first to address the media, getting right to business and talking about the scrimmage. “I thought we had a good scrimmage today. I would like to have had a few more reps if we had stayed a bit healthier,” said at the very beginning of the press conference.
He gives the media his early observations without looking at the film of the scrimmage and quickly mentions Gary Nova, who left Rutgers fans disappointed last season in November when he failed to hold on to the ball when it mattered most and cost Rutgers a trip to the BCS Bowl game.
The 6’2 starting quarterback went 16-of-18 for 280 yards and two touchdowns in Saturday’s scrimmage. When Kyle Flood was asked if he saw a difference in the way Nova throws the ball compared to last year, he said, “I saw Gary make some spectacular throws last year and I think now he’s doing it on a more consistent basis. That comes through a couple things – one, is the experience of play in games, that helps. The experience of having another offseason, of spring training, of training camp – that helps. But also I don’t think you could ever discount having another year in the strength and conditioning program, because Gary is in the best shape of his life.”
I would have to agree. Gary Nova looks like a completely new quarterback. I did not see the scrimmage earlier in the day but many people, besides Coach Flood have said that Nova looks slimmer and is really in good shape. His future looks promising and his hard work looks to be paying off so far.
The press conference gave a lot of positive feedback on Nova as well as a few others, which include freshmen Sebastian Joseph, Andre Patton and Justin Goodwin. Any changes that would need to be made before the start of the season would come after Flood and the rest of the coaches review the tapes. Coach Flood gave as much feedback as he could about the players but the tape will show what he could have not seen.
Overall, Coach Flood was very happy with Gary’s performance so far and added, “I don’t need to look at the tape to say this – there were some very well-thrown balls into some tight coverage and some excellent catches made by the receivers.”
When interviewed by a swarm of reporters as he stepped into the Brown Football Recruiting Pavilion, Nova gives positive feedback about his teammates after the first scrimmage but added, “We need to get better.”
“I just feel really good. A lot of hard work went into this offseason and I just cant wait for that first game to kick off, said Nova. I’m sure Rutgers fans are ready as well and looking forward to the start of a new season and the Knights’ last season before making the making the move to the BIG TEN.
Rutgers opens its season on August 29th on the road against Fresno State.