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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Proving it in Piscataway (No. 1 — Rutgers' Gary Nova)

(AP photo)
By Tyler Barto
Twitter: @Tyler_Barto

Today marks the start of Rutgers training camp. This top-25 countdown will run infrequently, documenting who's got the most to prove in 2014.

No. 1 — QB Gary Nova (6-foot-2, 220 pounds)

Why Nova's on the list: The defending prove-it No. 1 has searched for sound decision making for more than three years.

Head coach Kyle Flood is optimistic he's found it with offensive coordinator Ralph Friedgen, Nova's fourth play caller and position coach.

A career 54.7 percent passer, Nova's mechanics and reads have dipped during low periods. But no one is more Big Ten ready. It's Nova's time, one last time.

During training camp, keep an eye on: Nova's command of another new offense.

Each new system has claimed similarities from Rutgers' old regimes. Will Nova be confident enough in Friedgen's teachings to play freely?

2014 outlook: Running back depth and a returning starting five should cushion Nova's debut in a Big Ten that always features dominant front sevens.

Friedgen will ease him in. But most games will require Nova to play like a senior, and then some, for Rutgers to own a chance.

More from the countdown: No. 2 — Paul James

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