With the winter sports entering the conference tournament stage of their seasons, the arrival of spring is soon upon us. For the football program, the start of spring camp begins next week. The first practice of the spring is set for Tuesday, March 6th. The schedule is a bit atypical, as there is a 12 day break in between the second and third practices, due to spring break for Rutgers taking place from March 10th through 18th. Practice resumes it’s regular 2-3 day rotation starting on March 20th. The full practice schedule is here, per James Kratch of NJ Advance Media.
The annual Scarlet White game, which concludes spring practice, was previously announced for April 14th at 3:30 p.m. The game will take place at High Point Solutions Stadium and will be televised on the Big Ten Network.
Save the Date!@RFootball returns to the #TheBirthplace in just 2 months.— Rutgers Scarlet Knights (@RUAthletics) February 14, 2018
Scarlet vs. White ⚪️ Game
Saturday, April 14 - 3:30 PM
More on the 2018 season: https://t.co/4apklDnK8K #GoRU pic.twitter.com/9z0PYsGhG4
It will be a busy last week for Rutgers, as they will hold three practices in four days leading up to the spring game.
It will be an intriguing spring for the program, as head coach Chris Ash will have many new faces on his staff. It will be the first opportunity for the new coaches to work with the players in their position groups. The additions of offensive coordinator John McNulty, running backs coach Nunzio Campanile, defensive line coach Corey Brown, co-DC and safeties coach Noah Joseph, as well as cornerbacks coach Cory Robinson will be something to watch for this spring. With the addition of Toby Neinas as a full-time assistant, coaching outside linebackers and the kicking specialists, Rutgers will have six out of ten assistants on the field for the first time in the spring. Also, last season’s running backs coach, Lester Erb, has moved over to coach the wide receivers moving forward.
In addition, there are many roster questions entering the spring. Most notably, there should be a competitive and interesting battle at the quarterback position. Johnathan Lewis and Gio Rescigno return and will be joined by incoming freshman Artur Sitkowski and Jalen Chatman. Transfer Tom Flacco could also be in the mix. How McNulty, who will also coach the quarterbacks, in addition to being the offensive coordinator, determines reps this spring for the five signal callers remains to be seen. The type of offense that McNulty showcases in the spring game will be something to watch for as well, with not much being known other than his desire to run a multiple system.
How the early enrollee’s perform this spring will be noteworthy, as well as players who redshirted as freshman last season. For a program that doubled it’s win total to four games last season, expectations for continued improvement exist. This spring is critical for the program under Ash to take another step forward. We will have more to come, including detailed reviews of each position group, ahead of the start of spring practice on March 6th.