PISCATAWAY, N.J. (AP) — Rutgers quarterback Gary Nova is hoping one season with veteran coach Ralph Friedgen as offensive coordinator will get his game back on track.
"I wish I had him all four years," Nova said. "He's great. He's a great teacher. He's probably the best teacher I've been around, in school, anything."
And Nova has had his fair share of coaches at Rutgers. While Kyle Flood is his second head coach, the senior is on his fourth offensive coordinator in as many years.
"That is not ideal for any quarterback to have four voices in four years," Flood said. "He needed someone that was very organized, a great communicator and a great teacher. And that's what he's got in Ralph Friedgen."
Flood says Friedgen has the ability to take an idea and make it understandable in a short amount of time.
"You have to coach in sound bites, you can't coach in paragraphs," Flood said. "There's no time on the field for paragraphs. The players aren't going to understand paragraphs, they'll understand sound bites. You have to tell them what they are looking at. Tell them how to make a decision."
When things are getting too complicated for the quarterback, Friedgen will peel things back.
"He won't go too fast if we're having trouble with things. He'll explain it in every way possible until we understand it and as a quarterback we appreciate that," Nova said. "Like I said, if he sees you're having trouble with something, he'll stop and he'll explain it until you can explain it back.
"He'll make practice really stressful on you so when we get into a scrimmage-type, the drills that we've done are harder than that so he's constantly putting pressure on you in the meetings and on the field to hopefully prepare you for the games so you can relax."
Friedgen, the long-time coach at Maryland, is getting along well with his new pupil.
"From what people have told me, he can lose focus from time to time," Friedgen said. "I see that a little bit, but he's usually pretty focused. He doesn't say a lot in meetings, he takes a lot of notes. I've had quarterbacks, and I encourage them all to either take notes on their iPad or to write it down. He writes all his notes down.
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