Tom Savage may be the anointed one for Rutgers, but in Monday's season opener with Cincinnati he will be just one of three quarterbacks to see action.

The Cardinal O'Hara graduate was a much ballyhooed recruit when he gave an oral commitment during his junior year. With record-setting Mike Teel graduating last year, quarterback is a Rutgers question mark this season.

And while Savage is likely the Scarlet Knights' QB of the future, he is still battling seniors Domenic Natale and Jabu Lovelace for playing time. No one has emerged as No. 1 and Rutgers coach Greg Schiano promises to look at all three against the Bearcats.

The Springfield native is still unsure where he fit into the rotation.

"You probably know just as much as I do," he told reporters after Thursday's practice. "[Coach Schiano] hasn't told us anything yet. I just know I'm going to look up to Dom and Jabu and whenever they say go out there, I guess I'll go out.

"Of course I feel ready. But it's up to the coach [as to] when he feels I'm ready."

Savage threw for over 4,000 yards at O'Hara and tossed 10 touchdowns his senior season. He was considered a prize recruit for Rutgers, but did not dwell on the clippings.

"I try not to pay attention to all that," he said. "My parents always hid that stuff away from me and I just tried to veer away from it."

Schiano and a focused Savage were both happy with how the true freshman progressed through his first training camp.

"I just wanted to go out there and work hard and learn from the other guys," Savage said. "I'm understanding the playbook; that's the most important thing. Now, it's whatever helps the team out."

"He's improved, he's a really fun guy to coach," Schiano said. "I don't know if he's ready yet. I think we're going to find that out. He's still one of three in the mix."

Senior center Ryan Blaszczyk, part of a veteran offensive line that can only help a young quarterback, is working with Savage on the urgency of setting up quickly after the snap.

"I try to put a lot of pressure on him in the C-Q exchanges, just telling him to get the snap and get out faster," said Blaszczyk, a Shawnee grad. "I just try to make him sweat a little bit.

"It's going to be pandemonium when we get into the game day, so he's just got to handle the pressure. That's the big thing for all young players."

One of the best things Schiano saw in Savage during the preseason, came when the coach decided to have live contact with the quarterbacks during a practice session. It's the first time the coach ever opted for that, despite the risk of injury.

"Going through a whole preseason, standing back there throwing with the green jersey, you're not getting hit," Schiano said. "It's a lot easier to keep your eyes down the field when you know you're not going to get hit. All of a sudden when you are going to get hit, it's a little different.

"I would not have been able to tell you that Tom Savage has the very unique ability to keep his eyes down the field when everything's breaking loose around him, unless we did it live. He's shown that's one thing he can do. Usually young quarterbacks peek at the pressure when they feel it. Tom doesn't do that."

"With our offensive line I don't have much to worry about," Savage said. "I just drop back there and make the throws."

How many throws he will make on Monday, remains to be seen.