The quarterback competition will look a lot different with two newcomers entering the race this summer. However, that race won’t take long to get underway. Grad transfer Kyle Bolin will be on campus by the weekend and it will only be weeks before freshman Johnathan Lewis will be arriving as well. Returning starter Gio Rescigno has the advantage of spring practice on his side and defending his starting job has already begun. Here is a look at what to expect over the next couple of months.
JR Gio Rescigno
While there is a lot of hype coming in with RU’s new quarterbacks, don’t count out Rescigno, who is now a fourth-year junior. He was the team’s most effective starter last season, some of which was marred by a hamstring injury. Rescigno is now back to full health and has the advantage of having run the new RU offense through the spring. He is also more familiar with his receivers. The competition could also bring out the best in Rescigno as his best football may still be in front of him. Over the next couple of months, he will be looked to as the veteran of the quarterback group. Rescigno also has the advantage of having spent more time working with new RU offensive coordinator Jerry Kill, who is proving to be a huge upgrade. Rescigno has already proven himself as a leader and that could also play a significant role in his quest to retain his starting job.
SR Kyle Bolin
Losing a starting job to Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson is something just about every quarterback in the country would have endured had they been a Louisville Cardinal two years ago. However, Bolin does have ACC starting experience to his credit as he started five games before the emergence of Jackson. The fifth-year senior grad transfer brings in more experience than last summer when grad transfer quarterback Zach Allen came to Rutgers from TCU. Bolin seems more polished and ready to take on the role of Big Ten starting quarterback. Nevertheless, he is still going to have to win the job and the next couple of months is going to be an opportune time to acclimate to the Rutgers offense. The RU coaching staff targeted Bolin as someone who could make a difference this season and now it is up to Bolin to start making good on that endorsement.
FR Johnathan Lewis
Many of the current players and recruits who know Lewis speak of him very highly and are very optimistic about his future. Lewis capped off an excellent senior season which saw him progress quite a bit through the fall. His performance warranted him a four-star ranking as he was arguably one of the top quarterback prospects in the northeast’s class of 2017. Lewis’ proximity to Rutgers has enabled him to be a frequent visitor this spring and that could benefit him immensely when he permanently arrives on campus. There is little denying that Lewis is the future at the QB position, but it is just a matter of when that future will begin. The arrival of Bolin could enable the staff to take its time with Lewis’ development, although there is a chance the true freshman could already be the best of all three quarterbacks.
For more on the RU quarterback race, check out our latest Scarlet Slant.