2013 Rutgers Spring Football Analysis
2013 Rutgers Scarlet Knights ... Head Coach: Kyle Flood
Why To Get Excited … the O-line has the parts and the potential to rank among the best in the Big East this season. Only RT R.J. Dill must be replaced, meaning four other starters are back in the fold. The left side will feature a pair of reigning All-Big East performers, T Kaleb Johnson and G Antwan Lowery, who’ll be even tougher following another offseason in the weight room.
| 2013 Schedule|
8/29 at Fresno State
9/7 Norfolk State
9/14 Eastern Michigan
9/28 OPEN DATE
10/5 at SMU
10/10 at Louisville
10/19 OPEN DATE
11/9 OPEN DATE
11/21 at UCF
11/30 at Connecticut
Why To Be Grouchy … not only have the Scarlet Knights lost a swath of talent to graduation and early departures, but both coordinators are new as well. It’ll be a challenging offseason for second-year head coach Kyle Flood, who’ll no longer have RB Jawan Jamison, DT Scott Vallone, LB Khaseem Greene or CB Logan Ryan to lean upon this fall.
The Number One Thing to Work on Is … the offense. The line is set, but the surrounding talent still leaves plenty to be desired. Can QB Gary Nova raise the level of his game? And if not, will RB Savon Huggins pick up the slack left by Jamison’s exit? Rutgers averaged just 11 points over last year’s final four games, a trend that might bleed into 2013.
Team Concerns For 2013: While the program is waiting a year before moving over to the Big Ten, for now, cranking up the running game is a must after averaging a painful 121 yards per game. Jawan Jamison is off to the NFL early, so now it's up to Savon Huggins to live up to his superstar prep hype. The offense only average 330 yards per game for an attack that came up with more than 28 points twice all year. The defense has to replace seven starters including linebackers Khaseem Greene and Steve Beauharnais, but it should be fine. The special teams have to be far better after Kyle Federico and Nick Borgese combined to hit 11-of-19 field goals, the punting game netting just 33 yards per try and the punt returners averaging a mere 4.67 yards per attempt.
Non-Conference Games: at Fresno State, Norfolk State, Eastern Michigan, Arkansas
Realistic Best Case Record: 11-1
Worst Case Record: 7-5
Likely Finish: 10-2
Pre-Preseason Projected Wins: Norfolk State, Eastern Michigan, Arkansas, at SMU, Houston, Temple, Cincinnati, at UCF, at Connecticut, USF
Pre-Preseason Projected Losses: at Fresno State, at Louisville
Schedule Analysis: Can the Scarlet Knights get by the BCS killers at Fresno State to start the season? The Bulldogs are going to be nasty , but a win could be the difference between a good start and a rough one. Can Rutgers beat Arkansas for the second season in a row? At home, yeah, maybe, but going to SMU and then facing Louisville on the road five days later is going to be brutal. With a 3-2 record or possibly even a 4-1 run, all of a sudden it’s Game On with the toughest games the rest of the way coming against Cincinnati and South Florida at home. Back-to-back road games at UCF and Connecticut shouldn’t be that bad coming nine days apart.
The 2013 Class Is Heavy On ... Defensive linemen. The secondary got a terrific haul of players with corner Nadir Barnwell as good as any defensive back recruit in the Big East, and Janarion Grant and T.J. Taylor two excellent prospects. Myles Nash and Lester Liston are good linebackers, but the front seven will be better because of the linemen including tackle Josh Klecko and end Sebastian Joseph. Guard Dorian Miller might be the team's best overall recruit, while running back Dontea Ayres and receiver Andre Patton should become starters down the road.
2012 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 27. That Class Was Heavy On ... Receivers. Last year, head coach Greg Schiano brought in a terrific class or running backs, and the speed and talent in the defensive backfield was addressed in previous seasons. Now it’s on to the passing game to find QBs Chas Dodd and Gary Nova some playmakers for the next several years. By owning New Jersey as much as possible, Schiano had a terrific class of wideouts coming in. However, now it’ll be a feeding frenzy for prospects with Schiano leaving to take the Tampa Bay job.
2011 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 27. That Class Was Heavy On ... Running backs. Rutgers might not have come up with a loaded class in any one area, but no one in the Big East can match the upper-end star power. Losing top corner Lafayette Pitts to Pitt at the last second stung, but getting receiver Miles Shuler, with his sub-4.4 speed, defensive tackle Marquise Wright, and offensive tackle Keith Lumpkin makes the class strong. Keeping running back Savon Huggins at home when Auburn, USC, and other big names came calling was the big coup. The 6-0, 200-pounder will be the centerpiece of the attack, while Charles Davis and Ben Martin are lightning fast rushing options.
2010 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 46. That Class Was
Heavy On ... Defensive backs.
For the second year in a row, Greg Schiano wanted to
do whatever it took to upgrade the athleticism of
the defensive backfield. The competition should be
intense with big-time safety prospects Jordan
Thomas, Lorenzo Waters, and Jeremy Deering all big
and all fast, and corner Tejay Johnson an great
prospect with NFL measurables. 6-6 Brandon Coleman
should be the team's next star receiver, but the
focus of the offense is on the line with six
2009 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 27. That Class Was
Heavy On ... defensive backs. The departures of S Courtney Greene and CB Jason McCourty made this unit a priority for Greg Schiano and the Scarlet Knights. Rutgers didn’t have to travel very far to land S Abdul Smith and CB Duron Harmon, two of the best at their positions in the region. Schiano added quality and quantity to the secondary, which will prove especially valuable a year from now.