Two-Deep Analysis: QB Gary Nova

With spring camp over, is ready to look ahead to training camp with an in-depth, daily look at the depth chart. Going player by player, we break down the key players of training camp with an in-depth look today at quarterback Gary Nova.

Where else to kick off a two-deep series than with the quarterback position? Gary Nova enters his first training camp as an unquestioned starter after he used last year's to win the job over Chas Dodd.

Nova is used to winning after two perfect high-school seasons and dealt with a true losing streak for the first time last year as a sophomore. Starting 13 games, Nova started hot but cooled by the end of the season and struggled with ball security and arm strength by the time the Russell Athletic Bowl arrived.

Spring Performance -- Nova could have played himself into a quarterback controversy by mailing in the spring, but instead took his game to the next level. Admittedly angry with the way the season ended, Nova re-shaped his body and doubled his time in the film room.

The results? Nova committed one turnover in three scrimmages and led a passing attack to success without its best weapon in Brandon Coleman. Three touchdowns in the spring game don't mean much, but the consistency in camp is a big sign.

Expected 2013 Role -- Gary Nova is as much of a lock as a starter as any player on the Rutgers roster. Though struggling at times in 2012, Nova's job was never in jeopardy under head coach Kyle Flood and it will be the same story this season barring injury. Look for Nova to take every meaningful in-game snap and for his responsibilities to increase with fewer run-game options.

Scouting Report -- The biggest improvements for Nova this spring came in his release. His throwing motion remains quick and compact, but there is a zip that was not there in past performances. The result was improved overall arm strength and accuracy. Nova showed improvement in hitting receivers in stride.

Nova will never be a dual-threat quarterback, but he has enough mobility to evade pressure in the pocket and keep plays alive. The issue for Nova comes when he takes that too far.

The longer plays went, the more likely Nova was to make a mental mistake, mis-read a defense or force something. Nova quickly picked up on chances made by new offensive coordinator Ron Prince and the focus this summer will be to make quick reads and quick decisions within the offense. With the running game less of a "sure thing," Nova's success is crucial.

The Bottom Line -- Nova is trending in the right direction, but needs to keep his momentum in a more competitive setting.

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