What to watch: Rutgers spring game

April, 26, 2013
4/26/13
2:00
PM ET
Rutgers is the last team in the league to play its spring game. Here are three story lines to watch when the Scarlet Knights play Saturday.

1. Gary Nova's progression. Every single person who has seen Nova play this spring has said he looks like a completely new quarterback. Fans will get their own glimpse to see just how far Nova has come from the end of last season, when he looked to be regressing right in front of our eyes. Nova has dropped weight and is playing with much more confidence. All great signs, considering he is learning a new offense and working under a new coordinator in Ron Prince. I had a chance to catch up with linebacker Jamal Merrell this week and asked him for some players who have stood out to him this spring. The first player he mentioned -- Nova. "He's just been really consistent, and he's really improving," Merrell said.

2. New-look secondary. Rutgers has to replace three players in its defensive backfield -- both starting cornerbacks Marcus Cooper and Logan Ryan, and safety Duron Harmon. Tejay Johnson, Gareef Glashen and Ian Thomas have all taken turns running with the first team at cornerback, while it appears Jeremy Deering has found a home at free safety. Deering, who has played both running back and receiver and returned kicks, has turned heads this spring with his play.

3. Run game. With Jawan Jamison gone, all eyes have turned to Savon Huggins. But the run game hasn't really been consistent this spring, and Rutgers has shuffled its offensive line a little bit to see how different combinations look up front. Unfortunately for the Scarlet Knights, they will be very shorthanded in the spring game with only Huggins and Desmon Peoples healthy and available. P.J. James and Dontea Ayres are out.

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