Position Left Guard
Projected Winner -- Dorian Miller – Miller received plenty of praise from coach Kyle Flood during training camp, and continues his rise to prominence with his first career start in two weeks.
Projected Winner -- Derrick Nelson – Nelson made the majority of meaningful snaps in training camp. Between a minor injury to Chris Muller and lack of a freshman impact, Nelson steps into a starting role as Betim Bujari’s replacement. He has room to grow, and needs live experience.
Projected Winner -- Sam Bergen – Fullback will not be the same without Michael Burton and Ralph Friedgen. The sixth-year senior becomes the starter in name after a solid camp but look for plenty of tight end action at the positon as well. Walk-on Razohnn Gross could see a similar role to what Bergen did last season.
Position Nose Tackle
Projected Winner -- Sebastian Joseph – The big sophomore from Stroudsburg (Pa.) bounced back from early injury concerns with a good second scrimmage. Quanzell Lambert remains an emergency option, and can also play E and R in the system. Red-shirt freshman Kevin Wilkins needs more experience in practice.
Projected Winner -- Kaiwan Lewis –
Projected Winners -- Blessuan Austin and Dre Boggs – Austin locked up his starting spot in the first few days of training camp. The true freshman was the Scarlet Knights’ most impressive cover corner of training camp. Boggs jumped red-shirt freshman Isaiah Wharton after the first scrimmage.
Position Free Safety
Projected Winner -- Delon Stephenson – This is the closest battle as training camp winds down. Anthony Cioffi was arguably Rutgers’ biggest playmaker over the last two weeks. Cioffi could start at free safety, but should be considered a starter no matter what. With limited cornerback depth, Cioffi fills multiple needs in Joe Rossi’s scheme.
Position Strong Safety
Projected Winner -- Davon Jacobs – Jacobs and Kiy Hester split action in camp, but Hester’s injury before the second scrimmage vaults the more experienced man ahead. Coach Kyle Flood listed Hester as “out” on his most recent injury report.
Projected Winner -- Joe Roth – Tim Gleeson’s suspension puts Roth into the punter role, not that Rutgers should need one often in its season opener. Roth led the battle prior to Gleeson’s suspension as well.