Former Rutgers QB Tom Savage ready to play at Pittsburgh

By Chip Patterson | College Writer

Pittsburgh quarterback Tom Savage sat out two years after transferring from Rutgers and Arizona. (USATSI)
Pittsburgh QB Tom Savage sat out two years after transferring from Rutgers and Arizona. (USATSI)

Pittsburgh quarterback Tom Savage took the field this week, finally eligible to compete for a starting job for the first time since 2010.

That journey has taken Savage from Rutgers to Arizona to Pittsburgh, finally earning his 2013 eligibility thanks to conference realignment; specifically, the Panthers' exit from the Big East. Savage enters an open competition this spring for Pitt's starting job after the graduation of Tino Sunseri. At the start of spring practice, Savage and Chad Voytik are the front-runners in the competition.

“I'm really comfortable with both guys and their skill set," quarterbacks coach Brooks Bollinger said of both quarterbacks. "I think they're both going to grow and develop, obviously, and I feel pretty comfortable with both of them as guys in the film room, studying and learning. I like where we are with both of them.”

For the former Rutgers quarterback, getting on the field after two years of sitting out added some excitement to the first day of spring practice.

“It feels great. My motor's rolling right now," Savage said. "I wish we could keep going. Next one is Thursday and I'm really excited about it.”

Savage began his college career with a successful freshman campaign at Rutgers in 2009. The Springfield, Pa., native threw for 2,211 yards and 14 touchdowns, leading the Scarlet Knights to a St. Petersburg Bowl win and earning Freshman All-America honors. In 2010, Savage lost the starting job to Chas Dodd and he announced his intentions to transfer to Arizona in early 2011.

The arrival of Rich Rodriguez in Tucson changed Savage's plans yet again, and the journeyman quarterback landed at Pittsburgh after an attempt to return to Rutgers. But even after finally landing in a situation that fit his style, Savage's eligibility was still in question due to a Big East transfer rule. Luckily, the Panthers are now members of the ACC and Savage is eligible to play in 2013.

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