Camp Primer: Five Position Battles

The countdown to training camp continues with players set to report Aug. 1. Fifteen days from the start of training camp, looks at the five most anticipated position battles of training camp.

5.) Running Back -- The tailback battle comes for second-team reps behind Savon Huggins. Huggins himself said he thinks the Rutgers offense is best for multiple running backs and options behind him include Paul James, Desmon Peoples, Dontea Ayres, Michael Burton and Justin Goodwin.

James, Peoples and Burton are in the best position to see in-game work but any of the three could emerge with a good training camp. James has to stay healthy. Peoples has to improve ball security. Burton has to show he can carry consistently along with his fullback duties.

4.) Tight End -- Senior Paul Carrezola and sophomore Tyler Kroft will both play a lot. They will be on the field in some of the same packages and have potential to be two top options for Gary Nova in the passing game.

With D.C. Jefferson gone, Carrezola is the favorite to start in his fifth year with Rutgers, but Kroft pushed hard in the spring and will do so again in camp.

3.) Wide Receiver -- Brandon Coleman is the top receiver on the roster and fifth-year senior Quron Pratt has a defined role in the offense. But a logjam of young talent behind the two makes for an exciting training camp in the air.

Leonte Carroo had a stellar first spring for Rutgers and Ruhann Peele was not far behind. Carlton Agudosi, the biggest option, got a major opportunity with Coleman injured and showed well in spring camp. All three could play or one could emerge as a featured target for Nova.

Adding Andre Patton and Janarion Grant as true freshmen gives Ron Prince even more options for evaluation. Look for John Tsimis to start slowly after missing his senior season with a torn ACL.

2.) Right Guard -- Fifth-year senior Antwan Lowery gave up ground to redshirt freshman Chris Muller in the spring in what is becoming a major position battle. Lowery did not finish the 2012 season strong and Muller helped the offensive significantly in the run game this spring.

Lowery, who finds himself on the Outland Trophy watch list, needs to arrive at training camp in good shape and bounce back to win his job. Muller enters camp as the starting right guard after trimming down during his redshirt season and impressing in spring practice.

The right guard battle is also contingent upon Keith Lumpkin's and Taj Alexander's performances at the tackle spots. If they cannot hold down their positions, Kaleb Johnson could move back outside.

1.) Cornerback -- Tinkering with position changes and the addition of transfer Lewis Toler clarified the position to a certain extent, but neither starting spot is locked down. Toler projects to start, but will not be given the position from day one. R.J. Dill started as a backup when he transferred in and Toler should expect to do the same in training camp.

Redshirt freshman Ian Thomas was one of the true stars of spring after moving from wide receiver. Tejay Johnson and Gareef Glashen have the most experience at the position, but the former may end up playing elsewhere. Freshmen Nadir Barnwell, Delon Stephenson and Anthony Cioffi can expect fair looks for playing time and on special teams this summer.

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