- Andrea Adelson, ESPN Staff Writer
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Rutgers coach Kyle Flood held a news conference Tuesday to preview spring practice, which begins a week from today. He gave us all a little bit of news with position changes and an injury update.
First, here are the players who will either be held out of spring practice entirely, or be limited during drills.
NT Scott Vallone (shoulder)
LB Khaseem Greene (ankle)
OT Kaleb Johnson (shoulder)
TE D.C. Jefferson (ankle)
WR Tejay Johnson (hernia)
DL Michael Larrow (ankle)
CB Mason Robinson (knee)
LB David Milewski (knee)
OL Frank Quartucci (hip)
Jeremy Deering, from running back to wide receiver.
J.T. Tartakoff -- from receiver to safety
Sam Bergen -- from linebacker to fullback
Jawaun Wynn -- from receiver to rush end
Kaleb Johnson -- from right tackle to left tackle
Here are some of Flood's comments from his news conference:
On moving Johnson to left tackle: "I see [him] as a very talented, physically strong offensive lineman, and with our depth and our personnel, the guy best suited to be our left tackle going forward, and hopefully do it for three years." Johnson was a freshman All-American after emerging as the starter at right tackle last season.
Flood said it might seem unusual to have Wynn move from receiver to end, but he will be playing more of a hybrid end/linebacker position. "He's a physically talented young man. That is a position where, as he grows comfortable with it, he'll be able to impact the games on a high level."
On the quarterback competition between Gary Nova and Chas Dodd, Flood would not put a timetable for when he wants to make a decision. But the starting job is no doubt up for grabs. "What we have is two really talented, quality young people who have won big games for us. I'm anxious to watch them compete this spring. It's up to the players to see if one separates himself."
On the running back battle between Jawan Jamison and Savon Huggins, who is totally healthy headed into the spring: "I don't think anybody's ahead of anyone at that position. What I've said to players over the years is there's nothing more valuable than consistency. That's something we've lacked at that position. We need a guy we can hand the ball to who can give us a high-quality game every time we hand him the ball. I'm hoping to find that in both guys. You need more than one."
Flood also confirmed that Robinson was granted his sixth year of eligibility. "To have a young person of that caliber, that quality back in our program, I think he will bring a level of leadership that you can only understand if you spend time in a locker room with Division I football players. He can do things for me in a leadership role that nobody else can do. We're really excited to have him back with us."
As for the depth chart, the offensive line has some new faces with three seniors gone. As expected, Dallas Hendrikson is at center. But sophomore Taj Alexander is listed at right tackle, and David Osei is at right guard. Betim Bujari is at left guard.
Brandon Coleman is listed at the starting receiver spot left by Mohamed Sanu.
At the safety spot David Rowe leaves, and Lorenzo Waters is penciled in ahead of Wayne Warren. And watch for a battle at defensive end between Ka'Lial Glaud and Marvin Booker. Kenneth Kirsey is listed No. 1 at defensive tackle in the spot left by Justin Francis.