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Finding the QB for 2016: Hayden Rettig

Another day, another QB

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

With a new offense comes a new playbook and new personnel needs.

The most important position on the field is quarterback and that position is one reason why Rutgers had such a disappointing season in 2015.

I've decided to compile a list of possible starting QBs for the upcoming season. Each candidate will have his own article.

Yesterday, I covered Chris Laviano. Today, we will look at his backup, Hayden Rettig.

The Numbers

His numbers are pretty impressive given that he played in total around one full game. He started the first half against Norfolk State and was nearly flawless, scoring a touchdown both in the air and on the ground. The rest of his stats came from combined garbage time against teams like Wisconsin and Ohio State. His lack of playing time was highly controversial amongst fans, but ex-coach Kyle Flood clearly did not feel safe with him in at QB. With a new coach and a new playbook, Rettig should have a fresh start and have a fair chance to be the full starter.


  • Huge arm
  • Loved by the fans
  • Big-time pedigree
  • Can run a little bit
  • Did not turn the ball over in 2015
  • Had success not ever throwing to Leonte Carroo
  • Spent a year a


  • Not know for being intelligent on the field
  • Never seemed to fully grasp the playbook
  • Can't win a game by himself
  • A little cocky (from what I've heard)
  • No experience in meaningful college games

Can he be the guy?

MAYBE. Honestly, we never got a full glimpse of Hayden Rettig. He was great against Norfolk State but that was Norfolk State for one half. Just look what Laviano did in the second half (although he did have Carroo). He played well against Ohio State and besides that was just handing the ball off with the occasional meaningless deep ball that sometimes worked. He can run a little, but isn't a speed demon and is a pro-style QB, but he has the arm strength to do well in this offense. The main thing working in Rettig's favor is that in a spread offense, all the plays are called for him and he just has to place the ball. According to a few people I spoke too, the issue with Rettig was that Flood thought he was going to get a receiver killed because he wasn't good at reading defenses or making adjustments at the line of scrimmage. In Drew Mehringer's offense, he takes the snap, either hands it off, or throws a quick pass. Essentially, even though he is technically a pro-style QB, the spread might suit him best.

Bottom Line

Rettig is just too big of a question mark. The spring of 2016 may be the most important spring in team history. Rettig and Laviano will both start with no knowledge of the playbook, and will have to learn it at the same rate. The only excuse made for Laviano was that he knew the playbook beforehand and was more comfortable. However, Rettig and Laviano both start at the same point so this spring is going to be Rettig's last shot to be a power-5 QB. He will either get on the right path to being the starter or miss out to a fellow junior or underclassmen. The bottom line is that Rettig's full talents are unknown and he has one chance to prove that he belongs here or he will most likely wind up transferring to an FCS school.

Chances of being starter Week 1, 2016: 20%

Other QB profiles: Chris Laviano |

Up Next: Giovanni Rescigno