All eyes on QB battle as camp opens

A healthy Jabu Lovelace and a Dom Natale that worked with the ones all spring entered the Hale Center today to begin the most important battle of their careers – the fight to be the Scarlet Knights' starting quarterback.

Both Natale and Lovelace addressed the media as they reported to camp and both expect a tough battle.

"We're just excited to get out there right now and as far as [the competition's] concerned, we have a good group of quarterbacks right now and we're looking forward to competing," Natale said. "We all bring different things to the table and we'll see when we get out there."

The battle will likely come down to just the two seniors, but redshirt freshmen D.C. Jefferson and Steve Shimko and true freshman Tom Savage will all get fair looks, Schiano said.

"It's going to be intense and everyone's going to be working hard to get the job and I think it's going to be what's best for the team," Lovelace said. "The young guys will all compete too. They have talent."

Schiano and both Natale and Lovelace all believe that the decision should be made as soon as possible, but it cannot be a rushed decision to name a starter.

"The sooner the better," Schiano said on a timetable of naming a starter. "We are scheduled to have three scrimmages. You'd hope going into the third one that you'd have a pretty good idea … I'd like to, if I could, to make it before that, but I'm not going to put any timetable on it."

Lovelace, after breaking his leg during practice last season, said that he is finally at 100 percent and doesn't expect his leg to hinder him at practice.

"[The leg's] great," Lovelace said. "When we started our summer conditioning, I was able to go full-go from then on. I'm going to be ready."

Other News
Schiano announced that four players from last season will no longer play for the Scarlet Knights in 2009.

Both offensive lineman Keith Newell and safety Davon Smart will transfer to 1-AA schools. Newell will play for Delaware State and Smart will play for Norfolk State. Defensive end Gary Watts will remain at Rutgers to finish his degree, but cannot participate in football after a series of knee injuries. Defensive end Marquis Hamm has decided to give up football, Schiano said.

Schiano said that three players will be limited at the start of practice — running back Kordell Young (knee), wide receiver Mohamed Sanu (head) and tight end Paul Carrezola (hamstring). Schiano added that Sanu's injury is not serious after banging heads with a teammate and that Young might be full-go as soon as the second scrimmage.

Left tackle Anthony Davis said that he has dropped to 315 pounds for the start of camp.

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