Spring Time: Key 2012 Moments

The first spring camp under Kyle Flood was packed full of action and the second, starting next week, is expected to be no different. Getting ready for spring practice in Piscataway, ScarletReport.com looks back at the most memorable moments of spring practice 2012.

ScarletReport.com looks at 10 key moments that helped define the first spring practice campaign under coach Kyle Flood with the second beginning in three days.

Flood's first practice -- For the first time in a decade, a head coach other than Greg Schiano led Rutgers football onto the field for spring practice. Schiano shockingly left for the NFL a week before National Signing day, but after a short coaching search, Flood took over the program. He built a coaching staff to lead Rutgers to its first share of the Big East title.

Jeremy Cole-- Between an in-depth look at Cole in the Rutgers football spring documentary and commentary from his players, he stole the show in some ways after taking over for Jay Butler at the head of the strength and conditioning program. Cole kept the roster in shape and his energy and passion became a can't-miss part of practices and games.

Fifth-year transfer -- Fifth-year transfers are not a lock to work out but Rutgers hit a homerun with the addition of R.J. Dill from Maryland. Dill spent the spring earning a spot as the starting right tackle and manned the position efficiently all season for the Scarlet Knights. What made Dill so successful began in the spring with his willingness to start from the bottom. He had three seasons of starting experience with the Terps but came in expecting to be handed nothing and worked hard to win a job.

Open quarterback battle -- Flood had two quarterbacks in camp with starting experience – Chas Dodd and Gary Nova. He went into spring splitting reps 50/50 and both had highs and lows throughout 15 spring practices.

Both were near perfect in a vanilla spring-game offense, but Nova took his first steps in moving ahead of Dodd in the battle. By the time training camp scrimmages rolled around, Nova separated himself and won the job.

Big game for Coleman -- Nova and Dodd were more than happy to have the 6-foot-6 Brandon Coleman ready to make an impact in the spring game. Coleman made just two catches, but they were the two most exciting plays of the spring game. On a pair of fly routes, Coleman finished with 98 yards in what was a prequel of his 10-touchdown season as a sophomore.

Smith takes over defense -- The Rutgers defense did not miss a beat under Robb Smith, who replaced Schiano as play-caller last spring. The defense dominated most of spring camp, including a shutout by the first team in the spring game and a dominant second scrimmage. Smith's success as a play-caller carried over into the season, but ended with him accepting a job in Tampa.

Holmes steps up -- Rutgers wanted the chance to move Scott Vallone to the more natural 3-tech position and a strong spring from Holmes allowed it. Holmes consistently pushed people off the line of scrimmage at the nose and was a pleasant spring surprise. The challenge this year is for Holmes to bounce back from a season-ending injury.

Class of 2013 -- Flood identified and offered many of his top targets in the spring. Though the recruiting class remained small coming out of spring, Rutgers hosted and left a lasting impression on prospects like Dontea Ayres, Nadir Barnwell, John Tsimis, Dorian Miller and Matt Flanagan.

Not all spring visits went well, with many prospects looking elsewhere, but a strong number of signed Rutgers prospects were there in the spring to meet Flood and his staff.

Gause sighting -- Khaseem Greene sat out most of the spring with an injury, which allowed redshirt freshman Quentin Gause to make the most of opportunities on the two-deep. Gause had more tackles in scrimmages than any other player on the roster and performed well enough to prevent another position change at linebacker.

Rutgers is yet again in search of linebacker depth and Gause will have to battle yet again to get a bigger role with players like Quanzell Lambert, Steve Longa and Lester Liston looking to step up.


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