Flood sets timetable for choosing a quarterback at Rutgers

Chris Laviano is the only starting QB candidate who has appeared in a game for the Scarlet Knights.

Jim O'Connor/Jim O'Connor-USA TODAY Sports

With 10 practices finished at Rutgers this spring, head coach Kyle Flood said plenty of jobs remain open — something that should not come as much of a surprise considering the Scarlet Knights lost more than half their starters on each side of the ball.

As is the case most places, the quarterback battle has gotten the lion’s share of the attention in Piscataway, and Flood said little is settled there, either, for a team that went 8-5 overall last season with a 3-5 mark in its first year in the Big Ten.

Sophomores Chris Laviano and Hayden Rettig are ahead of redshirt freshman Giovanni Rescigno, and Laviano and Rettig are expected to carry the battle into the fall. Laviano appeared in five games last season while Rettig sat out following a transfer from LSU.

They are working with a new offensive coordinator in Ben McDaniels, who was promoted from wide receivers coach after Ralph Friedgen stepped aside to accept an advisory role during the offseaosn.

"I’m not saying it couldn’t be resolved this spring, but after 10 practices I don’t think we’ll have a final decision," Flood said of the quarterbacks. "I’m pleased with progress both guys have made. I’m pleased with the job Coach McDaniels has done instilling offense in just about its entirety and showing us how they can handle that."

The Scarlet Knights have another week of spring practice with the spring game scheduled for April 24.

Also mentioned during Flood’s appearance on the Big Ten spring teleconference Thursday:

— Running back Paul James, who ran for 363 yards in four games last year before suffering a season-ending injury, is expected to be 100 percent before camp arrives, but there has been no shortage of impressive work done at that position this spring. Desmon Peoples, Justin Goodwin, Josh Hicks and Robert Martin all got valuable experience last year and are back for 2015, so Flood envisions the staff getting creative with how they are used. "We’re going to have to get a lot out of that room and we’re going to have to play those guys at different positions because those are probably some of the best playmakers on our team."

— Standout defensive lineman Darius Hamilton said fans should be on the lookout for an impact from Kiy Hester, a redshirt freshman defensive back from New Jersey who is back in his home state after beginning his career at Miami (Fla.). "He’s got a real nasty attitude when it comes to playing safety," Hamilton said. "He loves the game of football and I think that’s very important."

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