Bimonte "Pushing" for Increased Role

PISCATAWAY, N.J. -- Sophomore Mike Bimonte took advantage of a limited week for starter Gary Nova at quarterback and is pushing senior Chas Dodd for the backup spot, said coach Kyle Flood. With tomorrow's scrimmage as a big test, Bimonte will get a chance to show what he can do in an increased role.

Quarterback Mike Bimonte knew he was a few years from seeing the field when he chose to verbally commit to Rutgers out of Manalapan (N.J.) High in 2010. Since picking Rutgers the summer before his senior year, the situation changed with moves like Tom Savage's departure, Greg Schiano's departure and Gary Nova flipping to Rutgers.

Bimonte never challenged for a spot on the two-deep in his first two years, but is now getting his best opportunity under coach Kyle Flood and offensive coordinator Ron Prince.

"I think Mike is pushing," Flood said after Wednesday's double session. "Chas [Dodd]did a nice job today. It wasn't really the sole intention of this but I think one of the byproducts of having Gary out for these two practices has been those guys have gotten a chance to take more reps. I think both are getting better. I think Saturday will be a big night for both those guys."

Flood has Nova in a limited role to keep him fresh for the season, making tomorrow night's "dress rehearsal" scrimmage a battle for the backup job.

"It's amazing," Bimonte said. "Me and Chas are almost best friends, so it's not like I'm competing with somebody I don't like. We're so close that we want each other to do well. It has no bearing on anything."

Bimonte has seen plenty of action in a backup capacity. Nova, the clear starter and a team captain, sat out two practices for rest this week and gave Bimonte an even bigger role.

"This is the first time I put myself in the position to get to that point," Bimonte said. "Coach Prince is giving me a great opportunity, but it's something I had to earn. I'm going to do some great things. I'm going to do some bad things and that comes with getting my feet wet. That's what this camp is about."

The 6-foot-4 Bimonte earned a Rutgers offer and committed after camping before his senior year. Since joining the program in 2011, Bimonte is on his third offensive coordinator and feels Prince is the right guy to develop him into.

"I'm getting opportunities, reps with the twos and I'm just trying to make the most of it and get a chance with the ones," Bimonte said. "This is my third training camp. I have the feel of how things work. We have coach Prince now. A lot of quarterbacks love his offense. It's very quarterback friendly. I'm trying to get better day-by-day. This is the first time I'm able to work with the twos and get some reps that I need. I just have to keep going."

Bimonte said year three has been his biggest upgrade in off-the-field work.

"It's more time in the film room," Bimonte said. "I'm working on my body, losing weight. I'm always working on my feet. That's crucial. I'm working on my release. I didn't do anything too crazy but I'm not even close to perfect on that stuff. I'm just gradually trying to get better.

"I'm so motivated. This is my dream. This is what I want to do for a living. I feel like if I keep working, I know how good I am. I know how good I can be. The coaches told me since coach Schiano was here. There's a plan and hopefully I can get there soon."

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