Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Peering into Rutgers' Future at Quarterback

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Peering into Rutgers' Future at Quarterback

Article excerpt

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Sept. 1, 2018.

It is two days before Labor Day in New Jersey, and it is hot at High Point Solutions Stadium. On the heels of a 5-7 season, Rutgers opens 2018 by drilling Texas State. Really not much to it, nor should there be in an opener like this, but there is one point of contention, the quarterback spot.

As tends to be the case at Rutgers, the most-important position on the field was up in the air all summer. Gio Rescigno is the incumbent as a redshirt senior, while Johnathan Lewis is one year in with Chris Ash's system as a true sophomore. But then, you have Artur Sitkowski, a four-star recruit out of IMG Academy in Florida, by way of Old Bridge. Big kid, 6-foot-5, pro-style, passes the eye test at a minimum. Originally committed to Miami, so he must be legit, right?

Ash went safe for the opener. Rescigno. You know what he is, minimal risk, won't lose you a game, but may not win you one either. That's been proven.

Inside the Hale Center, Ash to the podium. Opening statement, first question, second question. Then, some intrepid reporter goes for it.

"Who will be your starting quarterback at Ohio State?"

Ash maneuvers around that like Barry Sanders, circa 1993, but that question isn't getting asked without at least some feeling that a change is coming. Sitkowski saw action against Texas State, and yes, it is only Texas State, but he had a presence. Hit Raheem Blackshear on a wheel route, connected with Bo Melton a couple of times, Jerome Washington had a day.

Rescigno has done everything every coach has asked of him since arriving at Rutgers, but it's time. Throw Sitkowski into the fire. This is the quarterback that is going to pan out for Ash, because previous efforts — Zach Allen, Tylin Oden, Kyle Bolin and Johnathan Lewis — have not.

Ash plays coy throughout the week with his quarterback. After all, he isn't in the business of helping Urban Meyer do his job.

Sept. 8. Ohio Stadium, 11 a.m.

Sitkowski warms up with the first-team offense, signifying a new day for the program. …

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