Ash wanted Allen's arrival to send a message to the struggling quarterback room. Message received.
“This summer was a tribute to an individual trying to change his life and do things the right way,” said offensive coordinator Drew Mehringer. “Credit to him. He made our champion's club and was one of our iron knights, which isn't given out freely.”
Laviano received a strong majority of first-team work during spring practice before Allen's arrival. Monday marked the first media session for Laviano since the start of spring.
Allen's return to quarterback from receiver was a welcome one. He committed to Rutgers for a chance at moving away from receiver after graduating early from TCU. Monday was his first official practice as a quarterback since 2014.
“They're the two that have earned it,” Ash said. “Chris Laviano had a great summer. He was one of our most consistent players on the team, not just the quarterback position, but just his work ethic, his attitude, his commitment to himself completely changed. He was fun to watch this summer. … Zach Allen, it's been documented why we brought him in – to create competition. He also had a great summer. We thought it was the right thing to do to give him opportunities to practice with the first team.”
Worth Noting – The absences from the two-deep were noticeable at a few key spots on the roster. Running back Josh Hicks, defensive end Kemoko Turay, linebacker T.J. Taylor and cornerback Jarius Adams are among the most notable players not on the two-deep to begin training camp.
“I don't really care what they were in the past, it has nothing to do with where they're at today or where they're going to be at in the future,” Ash said. “It's a clean slate for everybody and they have to earn the right to go out and play and be a starter on this football team.”
On the offensive line, Chris Muller returns from injury as a starter while classmate J.J. Denman is back as the backup to Zack Heeman at right tackle.
Quote of the Day – “If you see Tom Brady walking around, we'll taking him. We're looking for the best guy we can find.” – Mehringer on quarterback mobility.