Spring Warm Up: New Starters -- Offense

Rutgers sits six days away from its fourth spring under coach Kyle Flood. The Scarlet Knights said farewell to six starters from the 2014 season on offense, and we look at the new faces likely to step in during spring practice.

Position -- Quarterback

Projected Starter -- Sophomore Chris Laviano or sophomore Hayden Rettig

Replaces -- Gary Nova

Inside Scoop -- This battle is far from over, and both sophomores have a fair shot at the starting 2015 job for the Scarlet Knights. Laviano has the experience edge. He worked with the first and second team as a red-shirt freshman, and he is the only person on the roster with in-game quarterback experience. Rutgers cut the playbook down with bootlegs and motion to keep Laviano comfortable during minimal snaps in 2014. Rettig joins Rutgers after LSU switched out of a pro-style offense. The former Scout four star lit things up on the practice squad, but must show improvement when new offensive coordinator Ben McDaniels goes in-depth with his playbook.

Don’t Forget About -- Giovanni Rescigno


Position -- Fullback

Projected Starter -- Sixth-year senior Sam Bergen

Replaces -- Michael Burton

Inside Scoop -- Bergen does not have the athleticism of Burton, who put up strong numbers at the 2015 NFL Combine. He is, however, vastly experienced and impresses in the weight room. Bergen knows the playbook on both sides after time at linebacker under Greg Schiano. Rutgers repped two fullbacks last season and could do the same under McDaniels.

Don’t Forget About -- Kevin Marquez


Position -- Tight End

Projected Starter -- Junior Nick Arcidiacono

Replaces -- Tyler Kroft

Inside Scoop -- The tight end was not an offensive focal point under Ralph Friedgen, and McDaniels’ strategy regarding the position is undetermined. Arcidiacono is the clear leader at the position, but he has to stay healthy. Behind him, Rutgers has plenty of unproven options including two preferred walk-ons and two red-shirt freshmen that battled injuries last season.

Don’t Forget About -- Matt Flanagan


Position -- Left Guard

Projected Starter -- Sophomore Dorian Miller

Replaces -- Kaleb Johnson

Inside Scoop -- Rutgers groomed Miller early as Johnson’s backup. Instead of splitting Miller with reps at center on the scout team, Rutgers kept him solely at guard where he is in good shape to start in year three.

Don’t Forget About -- Ryan Brodie and Tariq Cole


Position -- Center

Projected Starter -- Junior Derrick Nelson

Replaces -- Betim Bujari

Inside Scoop -- Nelson is the only true center Rutgers has into spring, and this is one of the most interesting story lines of the next month. Does Rutgers make a position change with so few bodies available for camp? Does the athletic Nelson step forward the way a fourth-year lineman should? Bujari is the most underrated departure of the offseason for Rutgers, and his replacement faces a true challenge this season.

Don’t Forget About -- Chris Muller


Position -- Right Tackle

Projected Starter -- Junior J.J. Denman

Replaces -- Taj Alexander

Inside Scoop -- Denman was strong but not spectacular in his 2014 role. He replaces Alexander full time this spring, but should expect pressure from red-shirt freshman Marcus Applefield, who is physically improved after 14 months in the Hale center. Denman is a road-grader lineman, whose pass protection requires improvement before he steps into the spotlight.

Don’t Forget About -- Marcus Applefield


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