Camp Primer: Summer Momentum

The countdown to training camp continues with players set to report Aug. 1. Twenty days from the start of training camp, looks at the five Rutgers players with the most momentum out of spring.

Rutgers came out of spring with plenty of momentum and an exciting spring game. From spring camp to summer workouts and classes, five players stand out with the most momentum going into the heat of training camp.

5.) Chris Muller -- Muller stands out as the most game-ready of the five 2012 offensive line recruits. Muller trimmed down and improved his physique in the weight room. The move from tackle to guard early in last year's training camp was a strong start. Moving him to first team at the end of spring gives him a head of steam going into camp in what should be a tough battle with Antwan Lowery.

4.) Jeremy Deering -- Deering needs a strong finish in a Rutgers uniform after two years of struggling to find the right position. When coach Kyle Flood moved Deering to safety, he brought senior experience to a young secondary. Deering played like a natural fit this spring and is in position to start alongside Lorenzo Waters.

3.) Keith Lumpkin -- Lumpkin has always had NFL size but late spring changes gave him the chance to show improved technique and footwork. A former basketball player at St. Peter's Prep, Lumpkin took over at left tackle when Kaleb Johnson moved to guard in the final week of camp.

Lumpkin played himself into a first-team position for the start of spring. If he can win the job, it's a good sign for the offensive line and a chance to play others at more natural positions.

2.) Ian Thomas -- Thomas is shaping up to be one of the best position changes in recent years. Stuck in the back of the line at receiver, Thomas moved to corner on the suggestion of Logan Ryan and soared up the depth chart in spring. Thomas showed unexpected toughness and confidence at corner and could win a starting job if he does the same in training camp.

1.) Gary Nova -- Nobody made a bigger statement in camp than the starting quarterback. Nova had a bad finish to his sophomore season and said turning things around was his only focus in the offseason.

The hard work paid off with a stellar spring, giving him plenty of momentum going into camp. Nova is healthy, in great shape and showed plenty of zip on his throws. Most importantly, Nova only had one turnover in three scrimmages. The next step is to show the same improvements in camp, and continue his success when facing an actual pass rush and a chance to get hit.

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