From Boston College to Rutgers: Langan's journey to the starting quarterback's role
Last season, starting quarterback Johnny Langan was a redshirt freshman at Boston College. Buried in the depth chart, he was asked by the coaching staff to consider switching to linebacker.
It was a difficult position for him to be in. Langan had made his name in high school as a star quarterback for Bergen Catholic. Under current interim head coach Nunzio Campanile, he led the Crusaders to a state title in 2017 — their first in 13 years.
But the four-star prospect nicknamed “Johnny Football” wasn’t ready to make the switch.
Then the Rutgers football team came calling. A month after the season ended, it was announced that Langan would be coming to the banks to compete for the starting quarterback job.
While Langan was ultimately ruled eligible to compete right away, he found himself in the shadows of the quarterback room during training camp as quarterbacks sophomore Art Sitkowski and senior McLane Carter duked it out for the starting job. Carter ultimately won it out, throwing two touchdowns in the season opener against UMass before getting a concussion in week two.
Sitkowski showed improvement against the Eagles and Michigan, throwing for a combined 410 yards and a touchdown in his two starts.
But another twist came in the Scarlet Knights' (1-4, 0-3) quarterback room last Thursday, when Sitkowski informed Campanile that he was contemplating a redshirt for the rest of the season (with one game of eligibility remaining).
With Carter still in the concussion protocol, Langan was left as the top man on the depth chart — with just two days to prepare for the Maryland game. Although it was a difficult situation, he was ready for the challenge.
"I was excited. I'm a competitor, I want to get in there and I want to play,” Langan said.
His college debut got off to a decent start, as he led Rutgers down the field on a 13 play, 64-yard opening drive. But it came to nothing, as junior kicker Justin Davidovicz’s 37-yard field goal attempt was blocked.
After a series of punts, Langan finally got the Knights on the board. After connecting with junior wide receiver Bo Melton for a 49-yard reception, he found a hole to the right on a read option play and found the end zone to tie up the game at 7.
It all fell apart after that, as the offense struggled to gain any momentum as the Terrapins ran up the score. Rutgers ultimately lost, 48-7.
As for Langan, he was 13 of 25 with 163 passing yards and two interceptions. He made some plays with his feet too, picking up 59 yards.
While a 41-point loss isn’t exactly how you want your first game playing to go, Campanile feels that Langan made the best of his situation.
“For a kid as a freshman in college playing in his first game in a Big Ten, I thought he handled himself really well,” Campanile said after the game.
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