Spring Camp Recap: Position Battles

Spring camp is complete and only final exams stand between Rutgers football and a few well-earned weeks of rest. Taking a look back at spring practice, ScarletReport.com examines 10 budding or unresolved position battles.

Position battles are not won in spring, but can be made very interesting heading into the summer. ScarletReport.com ranks the top 10 battles to watch coming out of spring camp.

10. Quarterback -- Head coach Kyle Flood has not named a starter, but Gary Nova has a solid lead with Mike Bimonte pushing for the backup job. Barring dramatic changes, Flood has an easy decision to make during training camp.

9. Place kicker -- Kyle Federico and Nick Borgese will continue to battle on a weekly basis for the rest of their careers, it seems. Federico played better in spring, and enters camp as the starter.

8. Backup linebacker -- The starters are clear, but Myles Nash, L.J. Liston and T.J. Taylor could all find playing time as backups. And that's before Sidney Gopre jumps into the picture this summer. Technically all three should make the two-deep, but who is first in when injury strikes?

7. Right tackle -- Not yet an official battle, Bryan Leoni's strong spring mixed with Taj Alexander's absence because of injury could make for an interesting start of camp.

6. Slot receiver -- Leonte Carroo has the feature spot at X locked up, and Andre Patton and Carlton Agudosi are also destined for roles on the outside. Receiver Janarion Grant is improved at the line of scrimmage, and could see a Mohamed Sanu type role this season. How does Ruhann Peele bounce back from an offseason surgery and can names like John Tsimis and Tejay Johnson push into the equation? What about a fifth-year transfer?

5. Defensive end rotation -- Julian Pinnix-Odrick came on very strong in spring, and Kemoko Turay brings a unique look on third downs. Junior Djwany Mera had a strong spring as the starter, but the depth looks good behind him.

4. Backup running back -- Paul James is the feature back going into the Big Ten. Behind him, there are injury questions with Savon Huggins and Justin Goodwin, who served in different roles behind James last season. Then there's Desmon Peoples, who was one of the stars of spring, and true freshman Josh Hicks, who could have an early impact.

3. R Position -- Red-shirt freshman Quanzell Lambert sat ahead of senior David Milewski on the pre-spring depth chart. That is unlikely to remain the case through camp. Both are going to play but Milewski continues to impress with his toughness and perseverance through three knee surgeries. Lambert goes into the summer after missing most of training camp with a shoulder injury.

2. Free safety -- Sophomore Delon Stephenson has the unique opportunity to be in both the cornerback and safety battle because of his talent. Johnathan Aiken manned the position admirably during spring after starting against Notre Dame in the Pinstripe Bowl. Rutgers gets a shot in the arm at cornerback this camp, which could allow Stephenson to move back to safety fulltime.

1. Cornerback -- Ian Thomas projects to win one of the starting jobs at corner, but has more work to do to lock it up. Nadir Barnwell, Gareef Glashen, Anthony Cioffi and Stephenson all have starting experience at the position. What changes will new defensive coordinator Joe Rossi make at the position? Who does Rossi like and how many can rotate at the position? True freshman Kam Lott wants to push for playing time, and newcomers Isaiah Wharton, Darian Dailey and Dre Boggs want to do the same.


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