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Mini Rutgers Spring Practice Update

Rutgers football spring practice is underway and two practices have come and gone.

Myles Nash

Myles Nash

Isaiah Wharton

Isaiah Wharton


Rutgers football spring practice is underway and two practices have come and gone. Head coach Kyle Flood has shuffled players around to different positions trying to get a feel on where each member projects best. The quarterback competition is obviously under the main spotlight, but as Double G Sports pointed out recently, there are other position battles going on.

Starting off, Flood said after the first day of practice (Monday), the team had a lot of energy out on the field. Pertaining to the quarterbacks, Flood said, “I thought when we were working in individual, working in 7-on-7, it was pretty clean. We’ve got some stuff to clean, but there’s a lot more moving pieces when you get to those periods.”

Redshirt sophomore Chris Laviano garnered the first-team repetitions to start off day one of 15 practices. Laviano threw for 107 yards on 11-for-28 passing a year ago, and hopes his experience and familiarity within the system will give him a leg up over redshirt sophomore and LSU transfer Hayden Rettig. Rettig sat out last season due to NCAA transfer rules, and this spring is widely different than what he experienced during the regular season. Rettig was the scout team quarterback throwing the ball where the coaches told him. Now, he is going through progressions and running the offense.

Flood moved around some players to find their best fit and where they can excel at the most. Redshirt junior Julian Pinnix-Odrick was moved from defensive end to tackle for depth. JPO will most likely play both defensive tackle and end this season. Staying on the defensive side of the ball, the defensive backs move back and forth from corner to safety. Redshirt freshman Isaiah Wharton is a prime candidate. With junior cornerbacks Nadir Barnwell and Anthony Cioffi limited in the spring, Wharton, along with redshirt freshman Darian Dailey, sophomore Dre Boggs, and freshman Blessaun Austin, can show versatility and ability as well by stepping up and showing the coaches they are ready to play as well. Redshirt sophomore Myles Nash moved from linebacker to the hybrid “R” rush defensive end spot where he can use his athleticism.

The offensive line is still a work in progress two practices in where there is little parity so far. Redshirt senior Keith Lumpkin remains at left tackle, and redshirt junior J.J. Denman will most likely still handle the right tackle spot after getting in eight games of action last season. Redshirt junior Chris Muller, started 25 straight games a guard, but it is a possibility he could wind up at center if classmate Derrick Nelson still isn’t up for the task. Redshirt junior Ryan Brodie, redshirt sophomore Dorian Miller, and redshirt freshmen Tariq Cole, Jacquis Webb, and Marcus Applefield have been moved all around on the line. Miller and Applefield have worked at center as well according to Flood. Versitlity will be a big part on who will play and where. Flood said he wants to put the best five out there first, then detail out the depth behind the starters.

With only two practices in the books, there is still much left to accomplish. Will the young guys continue to flash and improve? Will some players permanently change positions? It remains to be seen. Stay tuned.

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