The Rutgers Scarlet Knights are embarking on a new foundation in 2012. Gone is head coach Greg Schiano and in his place is new head man Kyle Flood. While the defense is expected to be excellent, questions about the quarterback position filtered through Piscataway this summer.
On Monday, those questions were answered: Gary Nova is the newest starting quarterback at Rutgers.
The sophomore poised to lead Rutgers to bowl contention and the top half of the Big East was told of the decision on Monday by Flood.
“I had no idea. I was actually walking up to breakfast and I got grabbed to go see coach, and I kind of knew from there,” Nova said. “I didn’t know what the decision was, but I knew obviously that’s what it was for. And I was just really excited for this opportunity.
“It’s a nice moment to hear that I’m the starter, but now the real hard work starts for the season.”
Considering that Nova and junior Chas Dodd split time last season under center — eight starts for Dodd, five for Nova — this competition had been going on for more than eight months.
While their numbers in preseason scrimmages weren’t markedly different, Flood cited Nova’s “body of work” as the deciding factor in making the call now.
“As I looked at the first two weeks of training camp I didn’t think it would be fair to either quarterback going into the first game if we didn’t give them the next two weeks to get ready,” Flood said. “That was kind of a decision I made as I watched the scrimmage on Saturday and we started looking at tape on Sunday.
“I said ultimately whatever the decision is we have to give that quarterback enough reps and enough time as the starter to make sure he can perform at his highest level.”
With the team set to break camp on Friday, the time was now for this call in Piscataway. If Flood can keep the defense at the level where Schiano left it, Nova’s performance will be the key to a bowl eligible campaign for the Scarlet Knights.