By Matt Sugam
With a week and half to mull it over, head coach Kyle Flood reiterated the emphatic proclamation after Rutgers’ loss to Virginia Tech in the Russell Athletic Bowl in his year-end teleconference.
Gary Nova is his starting quarterback in spring football practice.
“I think the thing that maybe got lost in the post game press conference – and I don’t open every question about personnel with this, but this is always the case and I think the players know this – if there’s ever a situation where there’s a player that there’s the best player at the position then they’ll start, and there’s no endowed positions at Rutgers,” Flood said.
So despite Nova throwing 13 of his 16 interceptions in the final six games as Rutgers sputtered to a 2-4 finish after a 7-0 start, Flood is sticking with Nova.
And the first-year head coach’s loyalty to Nova begs the question of if rising senior Chas Dodd will stick around to be a backup or seek a transfer and go somewhere he will play.
“I spoke with Chas and I concerned about it? No, I’m not concerned about it,” Flood said. “Do I understand that these things happen at times? I do. I certainly do. It’s part of Division I athletics and I think at a position at quarterback where only one guy gets to play generally, those things tend to happen.”
While Flood said he is excited that Nova will get the opportunity to get all the starters reps in spring practice for the first time in his young career, the reality that he doesn’t have to worry about losing his job looms.
In turn, complacency could set in. However, Flood doesn’t think that will be an issue for Nova.
“I think if you have players that have complacency problems it’s because you recruited the wrong players,” Flood said. “I don’t have that concern at all with Gary.”