This year’s QB competition will be a tight one. Rutgers will have a variety of quarterbacks with different styles and experience levels. From freshmen to senior, each of these quarterbacks have a realistic chance to lead the Scarlet Knights onto the field next seaso. With the new offensive coordinator John McNulty running the show, it is an equal opportunity for these quarterbacks to prove their worth. Here are the quarterbacks that have a feasible chance to be the leader and the face of the Scarlet Knights during the 2018 season.
Johnathan Lewis: Second Year
Johnathan Lewis is a quarterback with tons of potential due to his 6’3”, 225 pound frame and rocket arm. In 2017, he played sparingly due to his inexperience and giving him time to learn the playbook, as well as an injury he battled with mid-season. However, with his limited action, Lewis was an impact player. During the Morgan State game, Lewis accumulated five touchdowns which is a Rutgers school record. Nonetheless, Lewis struggled against #16 Michigan State with a passing line of 6-16 for 98 yards, 1 touchdown and 2 interceptions. His true freshmen mistakes were very conspicuous in the game, but his promise was also displayed.
With a year experience under his belt and understanding the college life, I think Johnathan Lewis will be the starter on game one. He is a local kid from Jersey City and chose to play for Rutgers to represent his home state. Lewis had multiple offers from Power 5 conferences such as Boston College, Georgia, and Georgia Tech but he wanted to make a name for himself in the Garden State. With incoming 4-star quarterback Artur Sitkowski coming in, this should motivate Lewis to win the starting job.
Gio Rescigno: The Veteran
Giovanni Rescigno is a redshirt senior veteran for the Scarlet Knights. He started in many games for Rutgers, including this past 2017 season, when he replaced graduate transfer Kyle Bolin. Rescigno won a few games against Illinois, Purdue, and Maryland. The team seemed to be on the right track until they lost their final three games which ended their season at 4-8. Rescigno may be a veteran but he still needs to prove to the coaches that he’s the man for the job. Last season, he threw 100 attempts but only completed 47 passes. Rutgers was ranked 128th in passing, which was dead last in the country. If he wants to win the starting job this season, he must perform better in practice and on the field.
Artur Sitkowski: The 4 Star Recruit
Artur Sitkowski shocked the college football world when he decommitted from Miami and pledged to Rutgers. He is a four-star athlete with tons of promise and potential due to his pedigree in talent. Sitkowski is coming from the IMG Academy, one of the best athletic development facilities in the country. Sitkowski is also a local kid from Matawan, NJ who wanted to play for his home state. With a lot hype and excitement on his side, Sitkowski does have a realistic chance to start in 2018. He was an early enrollee in January, which is a fantastic move allowing for development and gaining familiarity of Rutgers Football and college life this spring. Sitkowski is a pro style quarterback, which will make this year’s competition intriguing. Will the new OC cater more to the pro style quarterback to fit his strengths? That question will remain unanswered, but It’s great that Sikowski enrolled with the Knights for added depth in the QB slot.
Jalen Chatman: The Cali Kid
Freshmen Jalen Chatman may be the dark horse in this QB competition. He is from California, but his stats are astronomical from his high school playing days. 4,000 yards and over 600 yards rushing is highly impressive. Chatman is a dual threat quarterback with a huge arm and gifted abilities. I predict that he will be a redshirt, but he may become a stud quarterback in the future. However, if he outperforms the quarterbacks on the roster this spring, he could be a possible starter in the fall.
Tom Flacco: Transfer with the Famous Name
Tom Flacco may have the most famous last name on the roster. Tom Flacco is Baltimore Ravens’ QB Joe Flacco’s little brother. Flacco is a transfer from Western Michigan hoping to get some game time with the Scarlet Knights. Flacco did not play much with the Western Michigan, as his production came on the ground, when he scored two touchdowns on 340 rush yards. Flacco may have a famous last name, but he is also an unknown coming in for the Scarlet Knights. Could he play QB or play a different position? With his athletic skill set (played baseball in HS), he could be dual threat QB for the Knights and provide a spark. The Spring game will be his chance to shine and could impress Ash enough for starting consideration.
Crystal Ball Prediction
This year’s QB competition will be tough with several intriguing quarterbacks in the mix. My crystal ball says that Johnathan Lewis will be the starter in game one. I think he is a true Big Ten quarterback with the size and physicality needed to succeed. It’s up for HC Chris Ash and the new OC John McNulty to decide who will be the man for the job. Good luck gentlemen and at least it does seem there are legitimately multiple options to consider.