With training camp set to begin in less than a month for Rutgers football, the biggest question will be who will be the starting quarterback this season. It’s been thought to be a three way battle between incumbent Gio Rescigno, incoming freshman Johnathan Lewis, and Louisville grad transfer Kyle Bolin. While it should be an interesting race to keep an eye on during camp, footage of Bolin working out with some former Scarlet Knights now in the NFL has emerged on social media.
Yesterday, Tony Racioppi, a two-time All-American quarterback at Division III Rowan University who played professionally overseas and briefly in the NFL, posted the footage of Bolin throwing to various players. One such player was recent Rutgers graduate and current Arizona Cardinals Carlton Agudosi, who has impressed so far after signing a free agent deal with the club. The clips highlight Bolin’s sound fundamentals and ability to make varying types of throws.
Racioppi serves as a QB trainer with TEST football Academy and was effusive in his praise of the workout Bolin put together in the Rutgers bubble yesterday.
Bolin also was shown working out with one of the best receivers in Rutgers history last week, when Mohamed Sanu was back on campus training in the bubble.
There are several takeaways here. One, it’s great to see athletes that are now in the NFL come back to Rutgers and work out with the current players. It’s a great selling point for the program to recruits and also shows that former players that were at Rutgers before Chris Ash still feel comfortable coming back. The program has always done a great job of promoting alums in the NFL and Ash has only continued that in his time here.
Another is that Kyle Bolin looks to be a very fundamentally sound quarterback. Of course, mastering the playbook, as well as being a guy in the huddle that the rest of the offense trusts and believes in are a big part of being a successful leader and signal caller. So far, all accounts on Bolin have been very positive. Ash had this to say about Bolin to Keith Sargeant of NJ Advance Media last month, in discussing the quarterback battle:
"Kyle is really a grown man,'' the Rutgers coach said. "He's mature. He's intelligent. You can tell he's been around a high-level game of football. He's been well-coached, understands offense and concepts. He's a competitor, and he's just a good teammate, too.
"He's done a good job of building relationships with other players, whether it's the quarterbacks or offensive players, he's done a great job of building relationships with a lot of guys.''
Bolin was recently signaled out as one of several players to be designated “Grinders of the Week” by the program. In addition, the entire quarterback position group was recognized as well.
While it’s too early to say who will start at quarterback for the season opener on September 1st at home against nationally ranked Washington, there is no doubt that the quarterback position is much more well stocked heading into this year’s campaign versus 2016. Rescigno, Bolin, and Lewis all present slightly different skill sets, which gives new offensive coordinator Jerry Kill options at the most important position on the field.
In talking with Bolin shortly after he announced his intentions to play at Rutgers this season, he was very enthusiastic about the opportunity. Here is an excerpt from our Q&A with Bolin:
“I feel like I can come in and make a difference. Obviously, nothing is going to be handed to me. I have to come in and earn the position. There are some great quarterbacks that I will be competing with. Hopefully, they will see me as a friend and a brother and not the enemy in competition. I’m looking forward to meeting with them, getting to know them and picking their brains, so we can all make each other better as a quarterback unit.”
“I see that there is great talent on the Rutgers team, both on the offensive and defensive sides of the ball. It seems like they have all the pieces to be a great team, they are just missing the mold. I made the decision to come to Rutgers because I want to be that mold, I want to be that difference maker. I want to be a key factor in turning the program around next season.”
It’s obvious that his mere presence on the roster has elevated the talent in the quarterback room. His attitude and approach has been exactly what’s been needed so far. The reality is, he came to Rutgers to win the starting job in his last season of eligibility. We will have to wait for training camp in August to know if that will come true, the early signs point to not betting against Bolin in ultimately winning the starting job.