Savage's career is underway

Outwardly, Tom Savage has been a Scarlet Knight for well over one year, having committed to Rutgers in mid-April of 2008. However, it was only this past Tuesday that the highly anticipated QB recruit by way of Cardinal O'Hara HS (Springfield, Pa.) made his collegiate debut, donning his scarlet gear in his initial practice as a Scarlet Knight.

"I felt real good being able to get out there and learn where I'm supposed to be and just get out there and try to make the throws," said Tom Savage of his first practice session as a member of the Scarlet Knights.

Savage had planned on getting his Rutgers career underway early by enrolling this past winter. When it became clear that things wouldn't work out, he called an audible, and instead logged some additional miles on his car, finding his way to as many Rutgers practices as conceivably possible. Watching from the sidelines and being square in the middle of things, however, was as contrasting as night and day.

"The speed is a lot different, it's just tough making the reads and the thing about college is you have to anticipate the routes and anticipate the holes and flood the zone. I'm working on that now and I'll just keep working. I didn't realize how intense it was going to be, I didn't realize the stations and having to run over here, run over there. But all the older quarterbacks, they are all helping me out with it."

Part of the learning process includes acclimation to the rest of his teammates, and in particular, his peers at the QB position.

"They've [Jabu Lovelace and Dom Natale] been an awesome help. They have always helped me out in the meeting rooms and out in the field, telling me where to go, what the reads are. It's really been a great benefit."

For Savage, his understanding of the game will increase vastly this August as his practice time increases. That isn't to say that he has not already spent plenty of time learning the particulars of the playbook.

"I know it pretty well. You could always learn more from the play book. I mean, Peyton Manning still reads his playbook every night. But, I feel that I have a pretty good grasp on it right now," continued Savage.

"Football is a high priority for me. I take football as a job. I focus on school, study the playbook and do what I've got to do, and then all the other stuff comes second."

With Natale and Lovelace, both 5th year seniors, seemingly entrenched at the top, and with last year's highly-touted QB recruit D.C. Jefferson "in the mix", according to Rutgers Head Football Coach Greg Schiano, Savage is taking this opportunity to simply improve on his fundamentals, and get better with every snap.

"Right now, I'm just focusing on what I have to focus on and that's just learning the playbook, knowing my role and learning from the older guys. I'm going to just keep working hard and keep my head in the books and make all the reads and do whatever I have to do to get better."

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