Rutgers football hosted Media Day yesterday and Chris Ash held his first formal presser of the camp season. Before I get into this, take some time to watch the complete press conference below.
Players not with the team
- Ronnie James had surgery and should be back around September
- Malachi Moore is no longer with the team due a pre-existing medical condition
- Ahmed Bah is not yet with the team due to a citizenship paperwork issue
Ash’s impressions of the team
- He is proud of the way they have worked through seven difficult practices and some cases of extreme heat
- He is glad there have been no distractions so far
- They have adjusted well to the new format
- He likes where the team is mentally and physically
- They are still a long way from being the players he wants them to be
Ash has said what we expected, Laviano and Allen lead the competition but the other guys are doing well. His quote on them:
I would say right now that Chris Laviano and Zach Allen have probably gained a slight edge over the other ones and will probably receive more of the reps with the ones and twos throughout this next week of practice.
In my opinion, it seems like Chris Laviano is slightly ahead but Zach Allen is gaining on him. Rettig and Rescigno are battling for the third-string job. Tylin Oden will redshirt.
On a more significant note, Ash gave a clear timetable for when he wants to make his decision:
In terms of the quarterback position, when we hope to determine who will be the starter, I doubt it is this week. We'll probably go through this week and through another scrimmage next Saturday, and hopefully coming out of that scrimmage, we'll have a clearer picture of who's going to be our starter. I'd like to get a starter named, where we've got a couple weeks out from the game where we're getting some consistency with the first group.
Ash, like the sane man he is, wants the starter to have exclusive work with the first team so there is proper chemistry for the opening game against Washington.
In his presser, Ash said that the team will probably vote on captains this upcoming week. He also referenced a leadership council voted on by the players that was established when he first took that job. An interesting name on that council? Chris Laviano. Ash wants players with high character who are also good students and good football players. Despite the four captains, Ash said he is more concerned with leadership within the position groups. This idea clearly supports his #10Strong initiative.
Ash was asked a very interesting question on how he handles the expectations of Rutgers turning into Ohio State overnight since that is where he came from. Ash noted the changes in AD and basketball coach while highlighting how the whole athletic department is going through lots of changes. He said it is not an overnight process but they have a plan and believe they have all the right people in place to execute his plan. With that being said, Ash said there are no excuses this year and they are going to go out swinging every game.
- Ash praised Justin Goodwin’s attitude and effort from when Ash was first hired
- Darius Hamilton is around 90% and is being held out for precautionary reasons
- Darius Hamilton is really good and makes the good offensive line look bad because he is really good even though he isn’t 100%
- Kemoko Turay is not close to being game ready and Ash was not very optimistic talking about him and his healing process as it pertains to his two shoulder surgeries
- Chris Ash claims he’s “Not nuts”, when answering why Darius Hamilton sat out the scrimmage
- Chris Ash is nuts. Chris Ash wears a long sleeve windbreaker with a 115 degree heat index
- Ash thinks the heat has helped the players develop and overcome adversity