19 in 19: QB Mike Bimonte

ScarletReport.com's "19 in 19" series profiling each member of the freshman class entering school this summer continues with a profile on Manalapan High (Englishtown, N.J.) quarterback Mike Bimonte.

There is Gary Nova, the quarterback seemingly everybody knows in Rutgers 2012 recruiting class. And then there is Mike Bimonte, the other quarterback in Rutgers' 2012 class.

And for everyone out there who views Bimonte, who played at Manalapan High (Englishtown, N.J.), as the underdog in the battle to backup incumbent Chas Dodd, he has a message.

"I understand 100 percent why people think of me as an underdog because I'm under the radar the whole time," Bimonte said. "If I was just an average Rutgers fan, I'd probably think of myself as an underdog."

Nova comes from one of the nation's top programs, Don Bosco Prep (Ramsey, N.J.) and went undefeated in two seasons as the starter.

Bimonte, whose only other offer came from Temple, completed 95 of 181 passes for 1,746 yards, 13 touchdowns and four interceptions as a senior in leading the Braves to an 8-3 mark. But while everyone else views the 6-foot-3, 225-pound Bimonte as an underdog, he has a different mindset.

"I can only wait for training camp to come," he said. "I know I worked my hardest to this point, and whatever happens from there, happens. I like Gary a lot. I talk with him a lot."

Since committing moments after receiving an offer in late July, Bimonte has been all Rutgers. He attended nearly every home game last season, visited spring practice when it didn't interfere with his school schedule, through with fellow Jersey Shore residents Miles Shuler, Charles Davis and Savon Huggins and trained this spring with former NFL quarterback Scott Brunner.

"(Brunner) is really big on lower body, and having a wide base so you don't have to really step and you can drive off your back foot," Bimonte said. "We watch film on Joe Flacco, and he trained Joe Flacco for a long time. We watch film on ourselves."

Bimonte will enroll at Rutgers in late June, and with knowledge of the offense thanks to also meeting with former Pittsburgh quarterback and current Rutgers graduate assistant Andrew Janocko and new Rutgers offensive coordinator Frank Cignetti, who spent the last two years at Pittsburgh.

"Sometimes I (would) meet with (graduate assistant) coach Janocko and Chas once a week, and I kind of learned the offense on the chalkboard," Bimonte said. "To see it happen in real life, it clicks that much more.

"I can say I'm very familiar with the offense. I understand the route concepts and what is tried to get done on every single play. I don't know the progressions and the plays that much yet, but I can understand the route concepts and what they're trying to get at, based on the coverages and things like that."

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