The Rutgers quarterback competition this offseason will pit veteran Gary Nova against a trio of unproven young players.

The three challengers for the starting job – Mike Bimonte, Blake Rankin and Chris Laviano – have combined for zero snaps in a college game. But the quarterbacks have been developing behind the scenes on the practice field, and former star wide receiver Brandon Coleman has seen some encouraging signs.

"Their attitude will definitely carry over," Coleman said. "Those guys might have been young, but they have a chip on their shoulder. I think that's going to carry over and help them lead this next team into the Big Ten."

Coleman also got a firsthand look at another of Rutgers' future quarterbacks when he worked out in Phoenix with Philip Nelson, who transferred from Minnesota in late January. Coleman gave Rutgers an endorsement while Nelson was deciding where to transfer.

Nelson will sit out next season due to NCAA transfer rules, but Coleman believes Rutgers has landed an impact player.

"He was a good guy," Coleman said. "It was good to work out with him."

With Coleman leaving early for the NFL Draft and senior Quron Pratt graduating, whoever wins the quarterback competition will be throwing to some young wide receivers next season. Leonte Carroo is poised for a breakout junior season and Ruhann Peele should fill Pratt's possession receiver role, but it remains to be seen who will emerge from the group of Carlton Agudosi, Andre Patton, Janarion Grant and John Tsimis.

"I think Quron and I did a good job leading them this past year in practice and learning how to practice and learning how to prepare for games," Coleman said. "I think they've patiently waited and they've put in the work. They'll be ready."

As Coleman prepares for the NFL Draft, he's also taking six credits online. That will leave him nine credits shy of his degree, which he plans to finish up next spring.

Academics were important to Coleman during his time at Rutgers. He has a 3.1 GPA and was named to the American Athletic Conference all-academic team for the fall semester. It was his third straight year earning conference all-academic team honors.

"Three years in a row – I was proud of that," Coleman said. "It's something to hang my hat on, that I didn't just get by. I actually put the work in both on and off the field. Just to have that acknowledgement means a lot and it makes me proud and my parents proud."