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Tuesday, February 10, 2015

It's official: Ben McDaniels named Rutgers football's offensive coordinator

By Tyler Barto
Twitter: @Tyler_Barto

Rutgers is staying in-house for its sixth offensive coordinator in as many seasons. 

Wide receivers coach Ben McDaniels will supplant one-term-serving Ralph Friedgen as play caller, head coach Kyle Flood announced Tuesday on a conference call.

McDaniels' appointment comes less than a week after National Signing Day, when 11 listed offensive players pledged commitments to Rutgers.

McDaniels enters his second season in Piscataway after spending the two previous years as an offensive assistant under Greg Schiano with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. 

He is the brother of New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels.

On game days, Ben McDaniels served as Friedgen's voice on the field level, communicating with Rutgers' quarterbacks as well as receivers.

Flood has generally given his play callers autonomy on game day, provided it falls beneath his overall vision of a multiple pro-style offense.

As a high school quarterback under his dad, Thom, McDaniels went 37-3 as a starter at famed Canton-McKinley High (Ohio) and set career and single-season records for passing yards and touchdowns.

Canton-McKinley finished 1997 ranked No. 1 in USA Today's national rankings.

McDaniels becomes Flood's fourth different play caller in his four years as head coach.

Friedgen, meanwhile had signed a two-year deal worth $1 million in January 2014, but his stay became hazy when he held a resigned press conference after Rutgers' season-ending victory at Maryland, his alma mater.

“As long as I like it, I’ll do it,” Friedgen, 67, said that day. “I’m getting up in age, some things are a little tougher for me than others.”

Under Friedgen, quarterback Gary Nova set single-season bests in nearly every offensive category of consequence, though Rutgers also managed a combined 20 points in three losses to the Big Ten's elite programs.

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