INDIANAPOLIS — The Scarlet Knights are preparing for a quarterback battle once practices begin but there seems to be one name being left out.
Evan Simon will have a chance to battle Noah Vedral and Gavin Wimsatt for the starting job this fall. He did not see any game action in 2020 and appeared in six games last season. Simon finished the year 16-for-28 for 145 yards and one interception.
Head coach Greg Schiano mentioned Simon during his press conference during Big Ten Media Days at Lucas Oil Stadium and went into greater detail later in the afternoon.
“Evan has done a really good job,“ Schiano said. “It is legitimately a three-quarterback competition. He’s worked incredibly hard. I’m talking about incredibly focused. He’s really done a tremendous job developing physically as well as mentally as a quarterback.”
Simon will have quite the battle on his hands. Vedral has led the Scarlet Knights under center in each of the last two years while Wimsatt is the highest-rated quarterback prospect in the history of the program.
At 6-foot-2 and 205 pounds, Simon has all of the physical ability to compete. Schiano believes that it will come down to who can make the right reads on a consistent basis.
“They have to have an incredible ability to make split-second decisions,” Schiano said. “You have to be able to prepare. That’s fine. Everyone can do that but when it happens, can you process the information and pull the trigger quickly enough? I call it fighter-pilot decision making.”
“They’re not going to be on scholarship at a Big Ten program if they don't have the physical tools. Every quarterback in our program has the physical tools. The one that will start is the one that can make good decisions fast enough for a period of time.”
Rutgers has toyed around with the idea of playing multiple quarterbacks during the upcoming season. Does this mean a two-player system or could all three make their way into the mix?
“I’m not going to predetermine anything,” Schiano said. “We’re going to let it unfold. Ultimately, you'd like to have one quarterback and that guy is running the show. If that’s not the case or if it doesn't define itself clearly enough, we’ll do what we have to do.”
The early indications seemed as though Vedral and Wimsatt would be battling for the starting spot — and this might still very well be the case. What we know now is that Simon remains in the mix and has a chance to impress before the season-opener against Boston College.