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Former Rutgers quarterback might be good fit for Pitt in 2013


This much I can tell you about quarterback Tom Savage:
If Pitt fullback Mark Giubilato’s tweet is to be believed — and I have no reason to doubt it — Savage and Giubilato went to see “The Avengers” on Monday night.
“It better be as good as everyone says it is,” Giubilato tweeted.
They might also have been celebrating their future as Pitt teammates.
Word spread Monday throughout Twitter and other Internet sites, including, that Savage is enrolling at Pitt this summer to become a walkon quarterback who won’t be eligible until 2013.
If true, it makes for an interesting story — and a long one.
In 2009, Savage was the top-ranked pro-style quarterback in Pennsylvania and a four-star recruit, according to He also was No. 5 overall prospect in the state and the No. 8 pro-style quarterback in the nation after starting three seasons for Cardinal O’Hara High School, near Philadelphia.
“He was always very poised and always very composed,” said coach Dan Algeo when reached Monday at Cardinal O’Hara.
With offers from more than 20 top schools, including Michigan, Florida, Florida State, Miami, Penn State and Pitt, Savage chose Rutgers.
Newark (N.J.) Star-Ledger sports reporter Tom Luicci called Savage in a story this year “the most heralded quarterback recruit in school history.”
Savage, 6-foot-5, 235 pounds, lived up to his billing in the fall of 2009 when he started 11 games as a freshman, threw for 2,211 yards and 14 touchdowns and was named a freshman All-American.
The following year, he started the first four games, suffered a hand injury, lost his job to Chas Dodd, but still threw for 11 touchdowns in six games. Nonetheless, he decided to transfer to Arizona.
Savage sat out last season at Arizona, due to NCAA transfer rules, but what he really wanted to do was return to Rutgers. After the season, he announced he wanted to transfer to be closer to his family.
He added that the coaching change at Arizona, with Rich Rodriguez and his spread offense replacing Mike Stoops, had nothing to do with his decision.
“This is a personal decision about my family and was not influenced by Coach Rodriguez or his style of play,” Savage said in a statement.
Rodriguez wished Savage well, but the coach also said Savage would have competed for the starting job this season.
Rutgers was interested in welcoming Savage back to its team this season, but only if he had two years of eligibility. As it turned out, he has only one because he also must sit out the 2012 season for the same reason he missed 2011.
He applied for a hardship waiver, but the NCAA turned him down in January. The only way he could play this season would be to transfer to a Division 2 or 3 school.
“If I had to make the decision again (to leave Arizona), I’d make the same decision,” he told the Star-Ledger. “It’s my family. Football is just a game. I had to step up and be a man and be there for my family and help out. It’s a tough decision (by the NCAA), but it’s not the end-all, be-all right now.”
Savage did not return repeated calls from the Tribune-Review, seeking comment.
If Savage does enroll at Pitt, he could go to all the practices and meetings with the quarterbacks this season, missing only the games. In 2013, with Tino Sunseri’s eligibility exhausted, Savage could compete for the starting job with 2012 recruit Chad Voytik and Trey Anderson and Mark Myers, who will be juniors by that time.
With his size, athleticism and experience, Savage looks like a good fit for coach Paul Chryst’s offense. Sitting out two seasons is the necessary evil that must be overcome — no matter where he goes.



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