If the spring game was a true indication, the quarterback situation for Rutgers football is one the coaching staff can feel good about.
It doesn’t matter whether a team runs a pro-style offense, a west-coast system or a variation of both, the quarterback is usually at the center of discussion in almost any offense and it's no different for Rutgers football quarterback Noah Vedral and the Rutgers Scarlet Knights.
But eventually life after Vedral will come for the program. And for the first time since the days of Chase Dodd and Gary Nova, the future of the quarterback position looks rather bright on the banks of the Old Raritan.
Rutgers football Spring Game Standouts
The annual Scarlet and White spring game that took place on May 20, proved not only as a reminder of some of the talent that Head Coach Greg Schiano’s squad already has, but a statement by some of Rutgers’ youthful quarterbacks.
On the Scarlet side of the field, redshirt freshman Evan Simon displayed trust in his arm, pushing the ball down the field on multiple occasions, throwing for 114 yards and tossing a 23-yard touchdown to Shameen Jones in the second quarter. At 6-foot-3 and 210 pounds, Simon fits the prototypical mold of a productive college quarterback and flashed a lot of potential in the game.
Despite Simon starring for the Scarlet team in its 23-21 victory, Cole Snyder, heading into his third-year as a member of the program, was probably the most impressive quarterback of the day. Schiano was complementary of him and the rest of the quarterback group after the festivities.
“I thought all the quarterbacks played well. Cole certainly did. He threw well. He ran well,” said Schiano, who is entering his second year and second stint as head coach of the Scarlet Knights. “I thought Evan did the same, you look and they almost have identical lines… I was overall pleased… I think everybody contributed and everybody had a chance to play which was good. And I thought they played well, which was even better.”
With Vedral penciled in as the starter, Snyder may have taken control of the backup quarterback competition, completing 13-of-16 passes for 148 yards and leading his team to multiple scores. In the second quarter, Snyder threw an impressive deep-ball, which sophomore wide receiver Isaiah Washington snagged with one hand and sprinted into the end zone for a 65-yard touchdown.
For Snyder, Simon, and even Vedral, the game was a glimpse into the potential the team has under center.
"I think all quarterbacks have had the same amount of time in the offense, so I think as we continue to go through installs, all of the quarterbacks are feeling more comfortable,” Snyder explained in his postgame press conference. “Coach Gleeson feels more comfortable to put more stuff on our plate. I think all of the QB's are doing really well and absorbing everything that coach Gleeson has to offer."
The Blue-Chip Recruit
With all the hype surrounding the quarterbacks on the roster and the team rapidly approaching the fall season many recruiting stories become forgotten. That’s the case with Gavin Wimsatt, a four-star recruit from Kentucky, who is a consensus top-100 player and a crucial part of Schiano’s rebuild.
Rated the third-best dual-threat quarterback in the class of 2022 by both 247Sports and Rivals, Wimsatt chose Rutgers over a bevy of college football powerhouses like Oregon and Notre Dame and is a perfect fit for offensive coordinator Sean Gleeson’s scheme.
“Everybody wants to be the first to do something,” Wimsatt said of his commitment to The Athletic in an article published in April. “They remember the first person to land on the moon. They remember the person who is brave enough to do something first. I wanted to do something first.”
A great quarterback not only elevates a team, but can elevate a program as a whole. Between the duo of Snyder and Simon, along with Wimsatt seeming set to make the trek to Piscataway, there’s plenty of reason to be optimistic that Rutgers will have a star leading its huddle in the near future.