For the sixth time in six years, Rutgers’ offense is under the guidance of a new coordinator.
A year after coming out of retirement to serve as the offensive coordinator, Ralph Friedgen stepped down and will serve as a special assistant to coach Kyle Flood. His replacement is 35-year-old Ben McDaniels, who joined the Rutgers staff last year as the wide receivers coach.
McDaniels remained coy when asked how much of Friedgen’s offense would be in his playbook. The one certainty is that Rutgers remains in the pro-style offense, which will dictate pace of play.
“I think one of those pieces that is a part of that (pro-style offense) is playing in multiple tempos, so we absolutely intend on playing in multiple tempos,” McDaniels said Sunday at Rutgers media day. “It benefits you. It challenges the defense to have to be ready for that. So not dissimilar to a lot of places, we’ll have multiple tempos we’ll try and play at.”
There has been a quarterback competition occurring at Rutgers between Chris Laviano and Hayden Rettig since spring. According to a poll conducted by NJ.com, Rettig has received over 80% of the votes as the fans clearly prefer him as this seasons starting QB (Duggan, Aug. 18).
Rettig, who was a four-star recruit and began his career at LSU before transferring to Rutgers this past spring, is considered the more physically talented of the two with a higher upside.
Laviano has been impressive in scrimmages this spring but struggled in limited action late last season. Although he has an extra year of experience playing within the system over Rettig, he is viewed more as a “game manager” style QB.
With both Rettig and Laviano only being red shirt sophomores, head coach Kyle Flood has a decision to make that could effect the program for few years to come.
Jovani Haskins, the top high school tight end in New Jersey, will visit with Rutgers on Thursday (Aug. 6).
Haskins, a senior from Bergenfield, has previously said that Rutgers’ pro-style offense appeals to him.
“A pro-style offense, I like that,” Haskins said. “I feel like it’ll help me develop for my goals at the next level. But I feel I can adapt to any offense.”
In addition to Rutgers, Haskins is drawing interest from Virginia Tech, Miami (Fla.), North Carolina, and West Virginia.
Women’s World Cup winner Carli Lloyd gets a court named in her honor in nearby Marlton, New Jersey.
Rutgers’ redshirt running back Paul James has been named to the Doak Walker Award watch list.
The award is given to the best running back in the nation.
James started the first four games of the 2014 season before suffering a knee injury. He rushed for 363 yards on 63 carries (5.8 YPC) with five touchdowns on the ground and two through the air.
The last Rutgers player to be on the Watch List for the Doak Walker Award was Ray Rice in 2007, who was one of three finalists.