The majority of position battles extend into training camp, but momentum begins in winter workouts and spring practices. The Scarlet Knights now sit less than a week away from the third spring under coach Kyle Flood.
5. Running back -- Paul James has his role likely set in stone, but a history of injuries leaves need for depth at the position. Sophomores Justin Goodwin and Desmon Peoples can expect the bulk of work in spring camp. It is the first spring for Goodwin and second for People. Both need the on-field work to learn the playbook, improve blocking and work on ball security.
4. Free safety -- Johnathan Aiken won the starting job from Jeremy Deering by the time the New Era Pinstripe Bowl kicked off, but will he be able to keep it? Flood hinted at trying guys like Delon Stephenson, Nadir Barnwell and Anthony Cioffi at the position this spring. Look for plenty of faces to get opportunities as new defensive coordinator Joe Rossi looks to improve the production at the position from last season. Cornerback remains a competition, but cannot truly take shape until the class of 2014 arrives this summer.
3. Defensive end -- Rutgers starts the spring with an immediate need to reload at the position. Starters Marcus Thompson and Jamil Merrell are off to test the NFL waters and depth from 2013 is missing as well.
Djwany Mera was one of the surprise players of training camp last season. He and the inspirational David Milewski have immediate chances to win starting roles off the edge. Julian Pinnix-Odrick and Kemoko Turay emerge as candidates for the eight-man line rotation, and walk-on Anthony Milito can expect plenty of work this spring before the new group of freshmen arrive.
2. Wide receiver -- The fun part about an obvious upcoming quarterback battle is that there will be plenty of balls to go around to a group of receivers looking for new faces. Rutgers needs to make up for the big plays lost by Brandon Coleman and the consistency provided by 2013 team MVP Quron Pratt.
Rising junior Leonte Carroo is the obvious contender for both roles. Behind Carroo, however, many roles need to be defined. Sophomores Ruhann Peele and Andre Patton made the most of 2013 opportunities with a combined 340 yards and two touchdowns. Sophomore Carlton Agudosi has the body type to mimic some of what Coleman did in the offense, and sophomore Janarion Grant brings a unique look with his athletic skill set. Tejay Johnson returns to receiver, where he attempts to jump into the mix.
1. Quarterbacks -- Senior Gary Nova enters camp as the most experienced, but red-shirt freshman Chris Laviano pushed hard for a spring opportunity. Alongside Blake Rankin, Mike Bimonte and Philip Nelson, the Rutgers quarterbacks have a new offensive coordinator to win over and the battle heats up next week. Flood and Friedgen are going to pick the guy that gives Rutgers the best chance to win immediately in the Big Ten. Nova, Laviano and the rest get their first true test in front of the coaches in the spring.