Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Ru Still Seeking Its Leading Man

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Ru Still Seeking Its Leading Man

Article excerpt

PISCATAWAY -- In a perfect world, new Rutgers coach Kyle Flood would know who was his starting quarterback going into the summer.

Welcome to the often imperfect world of Rutgers football.

The raging debate over whether Chas Dodd or Gary Nova should be behind center when the Scarlet Knights open their season Sept. 1 against Tulane in New Orleans will continue well beyond Saturday's Scarlet-White Spring Game at High Point Solutions Stadium.

Since neither had a spring to remember, Flood, who would like to stay away from the constant quarterback shuffling Greg Schiano implemented last season, has put off his decision.

"I never put a timetable on it," said Flood, "because eventually the players will decide it."

They better.

Rutgers feels it has a defense, led by Big East co-player of the year Khaseem Greene and standout linebacker Steve Beauharnais, the former St. Joseph star from Saddle Brook, that can help win its first conference championship. And with an offensive line that was suspect at times last season bolstered by several newcomers, quarterback is the position of greatest concern.

Flood insists the two candidates benefited from his preseason camp, saying both took a step forward from a leadership standpoint and both built more chemistry with their wide receivers.

"Those are the things we have to work on going forward," the RU coach said.

Looking back at 15 practices, that included three scrimmages, neither Dodd, the junior from Lyman, S.C., or Nova, the sophomore from Elmwood Park who prepped at Don Bosco, did enough to convince Flood to make a decision.

At 6-foot-2 and 220 pounds, Nova is bigger and stronger than Dodd, who appears smaller than his program height (6-0) and weight (200), but Nova was more prone to fumbling last season.

"I don't plan on making as many turnovers as I did last season," Nova said. "I saw defenses I didn't see in high school. That was the first time I lost a game since I was 13 years old. …

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