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Monday, November 25, 2013

Rutgers' Brandon Coleman, Chas Dodd could redevelop on-field chemistry

By Tyler Barto
Twitter: @Tyler_Barto

PISCATAWAY — Brandon Coleman has seen all of Rutgers' quarterback changes firsthand — senior Chas Dodd and junior Gary Nova swapping starts in 2011, Nova taking nearly each rep a year ago and now Dodd returning to a starter's role.

He and Dodd arrived in the same recruiting class. They combined for four touchdowns in 2011, including an 86-yarder in the New Era Pinstripe Bowl, Dodd's last scoring play.

"Looking back at it, it feels like a long time ago," Coleman said. "It took me a while to think about it."

Chas Dodd's last regular-season appearance as a starter Nov. 26, 2011 at Connecticut. (AP photo)

A lot has changed since. Coleman is one of two skill-position players who played the entire 2011 season with Dodd. 

Coleman and Dodd remained well after practice Monday, the day after head coach Kyle Flood told Dodd he'd start a regular season game for the first time in nearly two years.

With Leonte Carroo, Rutgers' leading receiver, out Saturday at Connecticut with an upper-body injury, Coleman could figure heavily into Dodd's passing reads. But Dodd said a larger-scale plan is in place.

"It's not really a picking and choosing thing," he said. "It's more taking what the defense gives us and reading our progressions. It's going to be what the defense is playing and who's open."

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More from Coleman: 

On reaction to quarterback change: "We're excited to push Chas. We're going to push Gary, too. They're both leaders. Gary's a captain, but Chas has the job right now so we're behind him 100 percent."

On Nova's benching as captain: "I don't think that has anything to do with it. It's going to show how Gary's character is and his ability to be a captain is going to be a challenged this week. I think he's going to handle it fine."

On changes in Dodd since 2011: "He's developed a lot, and so have I. That's what you're supposed to do. I've seen that throughout this years in him. 
"On and off the field. He's grown, he's matured a lot. He's handled himself very well."

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December 9, 2013 at 7:18 AM 

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