The Headline – Saturday's Rutgers spring game will have plenty of physicality, but full tackle is unlikely for the banged-up program.
Speaking for the final time before kickoff, Rutgers head coach Chris Ash discussed the impact of injury issues on the spring gamme.
“Right now, we're leaning towards having a thud tempo,” Ash said. “We have been missing most of our wideouts through all of spring. We've had a couple of other injuries that happened on competitive Saturday workouts. With where we're at right now, we've had a really productive spring. The No. 1 thing we need to get out of the spring game is that we come out of it fresh and healthy. We want to see our guys obviously do a great job in the stadium executing their job but we need to make sure we come out healthy.”
Rutgers goes into Saturday without receivers Ahmir Mitchell and Jawuan Harris. Damon Mitchell, Dacoven Bailey and Mohamed Jabbie received limited work in camp.
“We are hurt or limited in our overall development because of the wide receiver group,” Ash said. “We knew it was going to be a transition period from all of the guys that we lost last year to new guys that we'll have here on campus now and in the fall. We had some guys that got some tweaks and bumps and bruises throughout the spring. We kept them out. That's going to be the same case for Saturday for the spring game. It has limited us in being able to develop our passing game.”
Rutgers strives for a positive fan experience without hitting, and the addition of guest coaches Mohamed Sanu and Duron Harmon are part of it.
“It's really exciting,” Jabbie said. “My uncle is going to be coaching the red team and Duron Harmon is going to be coaching the white team. It's really exciting to have my uncle out there coaching us.”
Rutgers also brought back post-game autographs with players.
Worth Noting – Fifth-year senior quarterback Zach Allen got bad news after Saturday's knee injury. The MRI results confirmed a torn ACL for the TCU transfer.
“We're not sure what direction Zach will go,” Ash said. “He's still visiting with trainers and doctors about what the next step is. He will not participate in the spring game because of the torn ACL he suffered next week.”
The injury leaves Rutgers with two quarterbacks for Saturday's spring game – Giovanni Rescigno and walk-on Troy Anthony. Barring late additions or subtractions, Rescigno and freshman Johnathan Lewis will be the only healthy scholarship quarterbacks in training camp.
“We definitely have to look at all of the options that are potentially available,” Ash said.
Quote of the Day – “Micah (Clark) has made huge sides in spring. Sam Vretman has made huge strides in spring and Jamal Beaty has made huge strides in spring. We're really happy with all three of those guys. They're going to be really good players for us. It's just a matter of when and all of that stuff.” – Ash on early enrollment.