Rutgers Football Pre-Spring Depth Chart
Head coach Kyle Flood released Rutgers Football 2015 pre-spring depth chart and injury report on Friday, March 27. Uncertainty arose when numerous positions listed co-starters as well as surprises.
As expected, the quarterback race is between redshirt sophomores Chris Laviano and Hayden Rettig, and even redshirt freshman Gio Rescigno, all of which are listed as co-starters. The spring position battle will likely continue through the summer with a starter named in August.
Flood said he “used the starting point for the depth chart in terms of where we left off form last year,” during a press conference at the Hale center. “Chris (Laviano) will go out there for the first snap,” based on experience Flood said. However, all three players will get an opportunity, but most likely won’t be 100 percent equal.
Limited in the spring as he recovers from ACL surgery, Flood left Paul James off the depth chart and instead listed sophomores Josh Hicks and Robert Martin as the leaders at running back. The backups behind them are juniors Justin Goodwin and Desmon Peoples.
With former fullback Michael Burton vying for an NFL job, Sam Bergen, a sixth-year senior and redshirt junior Kevin Marquez will battle for the starting gig. Bergen was Burton’s backup last season.
Former tight end Tyler Kroft left to test NFL waters and leaves an empty pool to fill. Junior Nick Arcidiacono and redshirt sophomore Matt Flanagan are listed as co-starters. Sophomore Charles Scarff and redshirt freshman Logan Lister will have an opportunity to jump them, especially they show they can block. Arcidiacono looks like it is his job to lose, however.
Protecting the quarterback, there were questions along the guards and center positions. The depth chart shows redshirt sophomore Dorian Miller manning the left guard spot with redshirt sophomore Tariq Cole as his backup. Redshirt junior Derrick Nelson is listed as the starting center with redshirt junior back at right guard. Redshirt senior Keith Lumpkin and redshirt junior J.J. Denman are at left and right tackle respectively.
Gone is big-play threat Andrew Turzilli, but senior Leonte Carroo returns along with junior Andre Patton who broke out against Maryland last year with eight catches for 101 yards and two touchdowns. Ruhann Peele is not listed, but will have an opportunity to get back on it after missing last season with injury and suspension. Junior Janarion Grant is the leader in the slot.
Next to senior Darius Hamilton at the nose tackle spot, redshirt sophomore Sebastian Joseph is listed as the starter with redshirt freshman Kevin Wilkins as his backup. This is one position that I highlighted as a spring position battle, along with others. Redshirt senior Djwany Mera is listed as the starter at defensive end with redshirt junior Quanzell Lambert on the other side. Explosive high-jumper redshirt sophomore Kemoko Turay is listed as the backup to Lambert. However, Flood noted that Lambert is limited this spring, which opens up an opportunity for Turay to flash further.
At this point, redshirt junior Steve Longa is still at weak side linebacker and redshirt senior Quentin Gause is at the strong side. Battling in the middle is redshirt freshman Brandon Russell or transfer Isaiah Johnson. Johnson has a big opportunity now that L.J. Liston was dismissed earlier in the month.
With junior cornerbacks Anthony Cioffi and Nadir Barnwell limited during spring practice according to Flood, redshirt freshman Darian Dailey and sophomore Dre Boggs are listed as the starters. Backing them up so far is redshirt freshman Isaiah Wharton. Incoming and early enrollee Blessaun Austin is also listed. Cornerbacks are always important, and the defensive backs must get healthy in order to be affective.
Junior Delon Stephenson is listed as the starter free safety comes to no surprise and redshirt junior Davon Jacobs is the starting strong safety with redshirt freshman Kiy Hester behind him. They will battle all spring.
Sophomore Alan Lucy remains the long-snapper, senior Kyle Federico is the kicker, but the punters, much like last season, have co-starters with senior Tim Gleeson and redshirt senior Joey Roth.
The depth chart is always changing and every player can move up or down the chart all spring long and even into the summer where most positions aren’t finalized until August. It’ll be fun to see how the depth chart changes after the 15 practices of spring.
Full depth chart (first and second team separated by a “/”):
QB: Chris Laviano or Hayden Rettig or Giovanni Rescigno
RB: Josh Hicks or Robert Martin/Justin Goodwin or Desmon Peoples
FB: Sam Bergen/Kevin Marquez
TE: Nick Arcidiacono or Matt Flanagan/Charles Scarff or Logan Lister
WR: Leonte Carroo/Carlton Agudosi
WR: Andre Patton/John Tsimis or Janarion Grant
LT: Keith Lumpkin/Jacquis Webb
LG: Dorian Miller/Tariq Cole
C: Derrick Nelson/Bryan Stonkus
RG: Chris Muller/Ryan Brodie
RT: J.J. Denman/Marcus Applefield
DE: Quanzell Lambert/Kemoko Turay
NT: Sebastian Joseph/Kevin Wilkins
DT: Darius Hamilton/Julian Pinnix-Odrick
DE: Djwany Mera/Donald Bedell or Jimmy Hogan
WLB: Steve Longa/Deonte Roberts
MLB: Brandon Russell or Isaiah Johnson
SLB: Quentin Gause/T.J. Taylor
CB: Darian Dailey/Blessuan Austin
FS: Delon Stephenson/Andre Hunt or Saquan Hampton
SS: Davon Jacobs/Kiy Hester
CB: Dre Boggs/Isaiah Wharton or Brian Verbitski
P: Joey Roth or Tim Gleeson
PK: Kyle Federico/David Bonagura
LS: Alan Lucy
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