clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

5 Burning Questions for Rutgers Training Camp

New, 21 comments

As Fall Camp kicks into full swing, it is time to look at 5 key areas that could make or break the Scarlet Knights' seaon.

Kyle Flood/Twitter

1. Who's Playing QB?! (duh)

Easily the biggest factor in Rutgers' short term success is quarterback play. Whoever takes control of the team will have a strong group of receivers and a potent running game but will still have the weight of the team on his shoulder's. By now, you should know the tale of the tape; the hotshot blonde Cali kid (Sunshine!) vs the experienced backup looking to break through. The starter will have to build on Gary Nova's succes in 2014 and have an even better year if Rutgers wants to see success playing one of the toughest schedules in the nation.

2. How will the secondary fill out?

Clear-cut starting CB Nadir Barnwell may be ineligible which leaves all 4 spots up for grabs. Can Anthony Cioffi build on his strong spring at safety and seize the starting job from Delon Stephenson? Prized recruit Kiy Hester finds himself in a position battle for the starting SS job with Davon Jacobs. If Hester wins the job, he could possibly create a very exciting duo with Anthony Cioffi at the safety position. Blessaun Austin is another big-time recruit who could win a starting job as a true freshman due to his great size (6-1) and playmaking ability. Dre Boggs, Isaiah Warton, and Ruhann Peele are all in contention for serious playing time as well.

3. Which true freshmen will step up?

Kyle Flood welcomes in an exciting young group of freshman this summer. With open spots on the depth chart, a few of them could see extended action this year. Leonte Carroo has already raved about Juwuan Harris and says that he will play this year. My guess is that Nakia Griffin-Stewart will make the biggest impact of any 2015 prospect this year. The TE position is incredibly thin this year and no one has proven that they can be the outright starter so far. Griffin-Stewart has already packed on 20 pounds and is an exceptional athlete. Look for him to be a huge red zone threat and to be a key component on offense this year.

4. Isaiah Johnson or Kaiwan Lewis?

Behind the quarterbacks, the MLB position battle is the most intriguing 1 on 1 battle. Isaiah Johnson had an incredibly strong spring but Kaiwan Lewis has SEC experience and loads of talent. Johnson leads the charge here but Lewis has yet to be cleared to practice due to a paperwork issue. Lewis only has one year left on the team and most certainly doesn't want to spend it one the bench. Johnson has 2 years left and is most likely the starter in 2016. Both players are clearly talented enough to be B1G starters but only one will get the job. My guess: Kaiwan Lewis wins the job but Isaiah Johnson will see plenty of snaps.

5. Will the team find an identity?

In my opinion, this is the most important question for the Scarlet Knights. Kyle Flood is clearly maturing and it seems he has assembled the perfect coaching staff and a great roster for this season. Kyle Flood will set the tone for what this team will stand for in 2015 and from what I have seen. Flood is amped up, excited, and more intense than he has ever been. The key is for the whole team to buy in to Flood's mindset. The season will be dictated by how the team mentally approaches each practice and game. They need to be focused, confident, and intense. When the team runs out of the tunnel fired up, the fans feel it and the players and fans feed off each others energy. When the team comes out flat, the crowd tends to be flat. It is key that the team approaches every practice and game like it is the biggest one of their lives. If this team creates and keeps a mean and intense identity then 2015 can be a special year.