- Andrea Adelson, ESPN Staff Writer
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Rutgers coach Kyle Flood held a season-ending conference call Monday. Bet it comes as no surprise that the hottest topic of conversation centered around the quarterbacks.
Flood was asked once again whether there would be an open competition this spring, given the way Gary Nova performed in the second half of the season. At his Russell Athletic Bowl news conference, Flood adamantly stood behind Nova. Flood stood behind Nova again during the call, saying, "One of the things I’m most excited about this spring is to have somebody coming back for the first time in a long time at that position who’s going to get the reps that a starter gets."
"The thing that maybe got lost in the postgame press conference, but this is always the case and I think the players know this -- if there’s ever a situation where there’s a player who’s clearly the best player at the position, then they’ll start. There are no endowed positions at Rutgers," Flood said. "But Gary has a unique opportunity coming in as a starter and getting starters’ reps this spring. That’s something neither he nor Chas (D0dd) had last spring. The experience of having the season, the opportunity to get reps in the spring, I’m really excited to see where Gary’s game can go."
Nova seemed to regress as the season went on, but Flood never benched him in favor of Dodd. Flood was asked whether he had any concerns about Dodd transferring, considering the one-time starter threw one pass all season and seems likely to go into 2013 as the backup again.
"I spoke with Chas, and am I concerned about it? No, I’m not concerned about it," Flood said. "Do I understand those things happen at times? I do. It’s a part of Division I athletics and a position at quarterback where only one guy gets to play generally, those things tend to happen.
"I know Chas has done a tremendous job the entire year as the backup in terms of his preparation and his work ethic and his leadership. Players looking for other options, they don’t do that. You don’t see that kind of commitment to the program. I never once doubted Chas’ commitment to the program."