Laviano, Allen Have Early Lead in Rutgers Quarterback Competition
Last season, Chris Laviano and Hayden Rettig battled it out for the starting quarterback spot for then head coach Kyle Flood. Laviano started 11 of the 12 games, with Rettig getting the other. No other quarterback took a snap during the season.
The quarterbacks entered spring camp with a clean slate and many unanswered questions. New head coach Chris Ash brought in an entirely new staff, one that changed philosophy. No longer would Rutgers run a stale pro-style playbook. In came a version of the spread offense under new offensive coordinator Drew Mehringer.
Laviano and Rettig are not considered typical dual-threat quarterbacks. This gave Giovanni Rescigno a chance to re-enter the position battle during the spring. Rescigno is not necessarily considered a dual-threat either, but his mobility was thought to be better than the other two.
Throughout spring, Ash said multiple times he was not yet pleased with the performance of the quarterbacks and set no time table for an announcement of a starter.
Enter Zach Allen.
Allen was brought in as a grad transfer from TCU. In three years at TCU, Allen threw a grand total of two passes. His stat line as a Horned Frogs quarterback reads 2-for-2 for 17 yards. Allen does come in as a dual-threat at the position, something the Rutgers staff has been looking for and something they need to effectively run their power spread offense.
In an effort to get on the field, Allen switched to wide receiver in 2015 for the Horned Frogs. While fighting through a sports hernia for much of the year, Allen caught one pass for eight yards. He also served as the team’s holder on kicks.
Rutgers opened training camp on Monday and Ash released his first depth chart. Laviano and Allen are listed as co-starters with Rettig and Rescigno being demoted to second team. Ash insists the four will all get a legitimate shot at the starting position, but Laviano and Allen are the clear front runners.
While Ash reiterated he has no specific time table for a starter to be announced, it would be best if that decision can come sooner rather than later. It is however, up to the players. Who will step up and take control of the position?
Rutgers opens the season September 3 when they visit No. 18 Washington.
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