Fresh Start: Replacing Key Losses

Replacing the production lost in the offseason is always a theme of spring camp. The 2014 practice series under coach Kyle Flood is no different, with a few key losses needing to be replaced on the two deep when spring camp begins next week.

Rob Jones and JT Tartacoff – This pair was close to perfect when it came to snapping and holding on special teams. Botches on special teams became a rarity with this two running the show, and new special teams coordinator Bob Fraser has to replace both of them moving into the Big Ten.

Top Replacement Contenders -- Alan Lucy (LS) and Joe Roth (H).

Nick Marsh -- Field position improved significantly when Marsh took over kickoff and punting duties in Piscataway. It was a one-year deal with Marsh, who tests the NFL waters after graduating early from Utah and coming to Rutgers. Roth is the built-in replacement for spring, but will need to impress the staff to hold down the job. Metuchen (N.J.) St. Joseph walk-on Mike Cintron joins the roster in August.

Top Replacement Contender -- Roth.

Chas Dodd – Dodd is not an NFL quarterback, nor was he an elite passer in the college ranks. His presence, however, will very much be missed within the Hale Center. Dodd competed all four years and twice won position battles as a major underdog. Dodd's career record is below .500 as a starter, and the numbers were not strong as a senior. But his competitive edge will be hard to replace in the upcoming position battle at quarterback.

Top Replacement Contenders -- Gary Nova, Chris Laviano.

Marcus Thompson -- On a roster desperate for senior leadership, Thompson did his best to lead by example and finished the season as a captain because of it. Thompson led the senior class with 51 tackles and 5.5 sacks. His transition to the "R" position went well as a senior, and has him getting looks at defensive end, outside linebacker and H-back heading into the NFL draft. Of the departing senior defenders, Thompson will be the toughest to replace in spring practice for coordinator Joe Rossi.

Top Replacement Contenders -- David Milewski, Julian Pinnix-Odrick.

Brandon Coleman – You don't get a lot of chances to work with 6-foot-6, 4.5 speed at the college level, and Coleman will be missed by the Rutgers offense. Injuries held him down as a junior, and the decision to redshirt him now looks like the wrong one. Even when not 100 percent, Coleman was an incredible decoy offensively that left openings for guys like Quron Pratt, Tyler Kroft and Leonte Carroo to make plays. Tying the school record for receiving touchdowns, look for Coleman to find a home somewhere in the mid-point of the NFL draft.

Top Replacement Contenders -- Leonte Carroo, Andre Patton.


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