8 burning questions as Rutgers football begins training camp ahead of the 2022 season

Football season has arrived in Piscataway.

Rutgers begins its preparation for the 2022 season in earnest on Wednesday with the begin of training camp. The Scarlet Knights take the area at the Marco Battaglia Practice Complex precisely a month earlier than they open the season towards Boston College.

Here are eight burning questions that Rutgers will look to reply beginning with their journey up north to Chestnut Hill:

How will the first quarterback competitors since Greg Schiano’s return play out?

There was no alternative for Schiano to make at the place in the final two seasons as Noah Vedral was the undisputed starter after arriving from Nebraska. In his closing season of school football, the veteran should fend off some younger expertise to maintain his job.

Highly-touted freshman Gavin Wimsatt and sophomore Evan Simon will full the three-man race for the function. Schiano indicated there might be no rush to resolve a starter, saying he’ll enable the course of to play itself out and that if none of the candidates distinguish themselves, the Scarlet Knights may use a number of quarterbacks.

What will new defensive coordinator Joe Harasymiak change?

Rutgers gained all 5 of its video games final season when it held opponents to 14 factors or much less. Still, the Scarlet Knights ranked in the backside 4 in the Big Ten in each main defensive class and surrendered 25.6 factors per sport.

After main Minnesota to a superb defensive season final 12 months, can Harasymiak parlay the success to Piscataway?

Harasymiak, a Waldwick native, bought a glowing endorsement at the Big Ten’s media day occasion final week.

“He’s good,” Minnesota coach PJ Fleck mentioned. “You’re going to like him on the market. Incredibly clever, nice with the gamers, a beautiful instructor. The gamers love him, he is bought an effective way culturally to narrate to all people and he brings out the most in all people he is round. His persona is infectious. Great recruiter.”

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How rapidly can offensive line gel?

The Scarlet Knights utterly revamped the weakest hyperlink on their 2021 roster in the offseason, including 4 new gamers through the switch portal, no less than three of that are projected to begin. That is quite a bit of new faces able the place cohesion is essential.

The group had an opportunity to work collectively in the spring — albeit with out injured sort out Hollin Pierce, who has since been medically cleared and can contend for a beginning spot — and can get one other month to take action in training camp.

Does Rutgers have satisfactory replacements for NFL draftees?

Bo Melton and Isaih Pacheco, who led Rutgers in receiving and speeding, respectively, for every of the previous three seasons, have been each chosen in the seventh spherical of the NFL Draft this April. Can the Scarlet Knights exchange their manufacturing?

There are some sturdy candidates on the outdoors. Taj Harris was one of the greatest receivers in the ACC at Syracuse, whereas Sean Ryan flashed his potential at West Virginia. Aron Cruickshank, who’s on tempo to get well from his torn ACL in time to take part in the season opener, and Joshua Youngblood are two of the most dynamic athletes in the Big Ten. Shameen Jones, who completed second behind Melton in receiving yards in the final two seasons, has an opportunity to interrupt via. And if no receivers can fill the void, there’s all the time do-it-all offensive weapon Johnny Langan.

In the backfield, sophomore Kyle Monangai flashed his potential with 4 touchdowns final season. Junior Aaron Young, who might be eased into camp after present process offseason surgical procedure, matched Pacheco with 5 scores. But neither approached the quantity of carries Pacheco had; they mixed for 118 rushes whereas Pacheco ran the ball 167 instances. Will both of them seize the function of workhorse, or will or not it’s a running-back-by-committee method?

Will any newcomers earn roles?

The aforementioned offensive linemen and large receivers are apparent candidates for vital roles; it might be a shock in the event that they did not seize them. Beyond that, although, will there be any surprising newcomers climb the depth chart?

(*8*)Moses Walker, the top-ranked recruit in the class, may have crammed a void at linebacker, however he suffered a season-ending harm in the spring. While Rutgers signed seven highschool offensive linemen in the class, together with New Jersey’s No. 1 prospect Jacob Allen out of Hun, the expectation is they’ll want time to regulate to the dimension and rigor of Big Ten competitors.

Defensively, first-year linebacker Anthony Johnson of Neumean Goretti in Philadelphia can add depth whereas two in-state edge rushers may very well be labored into the combine: DePaul’s Q’yaeir Price and Delran’s Kenny Fletcher. Also maintain an eye fixed out for security Thomas Amankwaa, though Rutgers returns each starters and a few expertise.

Will line of defense flip potential into manufacturing?

On paper, the unit is arguably the greatest on the roster. With skilled tackles Mayan Ahanotu and Ifeanyi Maijeh inside and quite a few promising rushers like Aaron Lewis, Wesley Bailey and Kyonte Hamilton on the outdoors, the line of defense has an opportunity to be nice.

Rutgers will want it to be. Between Olakunle Fatukasi and Julius Turner graduating and main move rusher Mohamed Toure struggling a season-ending harm in the spring, Rutgers is changing a mixed 10 sacks and 24.5 tackles for loss from final season’s roster.

Any surprises?

The offseason is lengthy and creates loads of alternative for change. There has been some motion in the roster over the summer season, such as large receiver Brandon Sanders medically retiring or beginning kicker Valentino Ambrosio transferring however shocking additions or subtractions coming into training camp are all the time a risk.

One already occurred this week when the Scarlet Knights landed Texas A&M switch Jahzion Harris, who is predicted to be instantly eligible this fall. Will Drew Singleton, who’s at present petitioning the NCAA for a waiver after going undrafted, be subsequent? Something related occurred in Schiano’s first season again in 2020, when defensive lineman Elorm Lumor obtained a waiver after going undrafted.

Does anybody have a leg up on the kicking competitors?

Rutgers went deep into the switch portal to seek out this potential pot of gold.

With an assistant from Prokick Australia, Rutgers pulled Ireland native Jude McAtamney out of the portal from Division II Chowdon University. He’ll arrive with two years of eligibility and as the entrance runner to switch Ambrosio.

Guy Fava and Michael O’Connor are additionally anticipated to compete for the job, however McAtamney stays the entrance runner, Schiano mentioned final week.

Also mentioned in our camp previews

Check out NJ.com’s lists of the most necessary Scarlet Knights, newcomers to observe and x-factors heading into training camp.

Thank you for counting on us to supply the journalism you possibly can belief.

Brian Fonseca could also be reached at bfonseca@njadvancemedia.com.

Patrick Lanni could also be reached at planni@njadvancemedia.com.

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