Opening spring: Rutgers

March, 27, 2012
3/27/12
9:00
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Rutgers is the final team to open spring practice. Here is a quick primer on what to expect.

Spring changes: What hasn't changed? Kyle Flood takes over as head coach, with only one other holdover from the previous staff -- Robb Smith takes over as defensive coordinator. There should be familiarity with the defense, as the scheme will stay the same. Dave Brock comes in as offensive coordinator, and also plans on sticking with the pro-style set the Scarlet Knights went back to last season. Several position changes also have been made. Most notably, Jeremy Deering has been moved from running back to wide receiver, and Kaleb Johnson is now at left tackle.

Position battles to watch

Quarterback. Chas Dodd and Gary Nova split starts last season, and both go into the spring battling for the starting job. "Do I expect there to be an outcome of that competition this spring?" Flood said last week. "I’m not putting a timetable on it. I’m not concerned about that. To me, if you want to put a long range timetable on it, you want to have your starter in place 10-14 days before you play your first game. So that would be the backend of the schedule. Whether or not that will happen this spring is really up to the players themselves to separate themselves from the other."

Running back. Jawan Jamison had a good season as a freshman last season, rushing for 897 yards and nine touchdowns. But Savon Huggins is healthy and ready for spring practice, and both are going to be competing for the starting job. Huggins missed the final four games of last season after coming in with an incredible amount of hype. Even in the games he did play, he seemed to be pressing. The key is for him to relax and let the big plays happen. In today's game, it is rare to go an entire season with one back. You need two ready to carry the load, and both have a shot to do so.

Defensive end: The one other position on the pre-spring depth chart that is up in the air is at end, where Ka'Lial Glaud and Marvin Booker are listed in the competition for the job to replace Manny Abreu. Jawaun Wynn, who moved to end at receiver, also will compete in the rotation, with the hopes that he can develop into a rush end.

Injury update: Out: NT Scott Vallone (shoulder); LB Khaseem Greene (ankle); OT Kaleb Johnson (shoulder); TE D.C. Jefferson (ankle); WR Tejay Johnson (hernia). Limited: DL Michael Larrow (ankle); CB Mason Robinson (knee); LB David Milewski (knee); OL Frank Quartucci (hip)

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