PISCATAWAY - As Gary Nova was on his walk to the team breakfast, he was pulled aside and told he needed to go see his head coach, Kyle Flood.
In that moment, Nova knew what was coming next. The long awaited decision - whether he or Chas Dodd would be the starting quarterback - was being made.
"I was very proud," Nova said of being named the starter. "A lot of hard work went into it all summer and all spring and it was kind of a relief that it finally came to a decision. I'm just really happy and excited for this opportunity."
The opportunity is to be Rutgers unquestioned starter.
Flood has said on multiple occasions that he's going to pick a starter and roll with him. This approach is a bit different from that of his predecessor, Greg Schiano, who played musical chairs with his quarterbacks, having four different starting quarterbacks to start the season in his last four years.
Nova will now be the fifth different Opening Day starter for Rutgers in the last five years, after a freshman campaign where he completed 51.1% of his passes for 1,553 yards, and recorded 11 touchdowns and nine interceptions.
While it's been a long awaited decision, it came a couple of days earlier than expected. Flood had continually stated he'd make a decision on the quarterback seven to 10 days before the season opener at Tulane. However, that mindset changed this weekend.
"As I looked at the first two weeks of training camp, I didn't think it would be fair to either quarterback if we didn't give them the next two weeks to get ready. And that was kind of a decision I made as I watched the scrimmage on Saturday and we looked at the tape on Sunday," Flood said.
"Ultimately, whatever the decision is, we have to make sure we give that guy enough reps as the starter and make sure he had enough time as the starter to make sure he can perform at his highest level. If we waited until later in the week, I don't know if they would have that opportunity and that wouldn't be fair to whoever we chose."
It was also important for the team to have that player to rally around. And on any offense, one of those guys is always going to be the quarterback.
"The team now has a focus point ... I think the starting quarterback is always part of the leadership of your team," Flood said. "Whether he's an actual captain or not, at least the other players know in the huddle, this is the guy we have going forward."
Which leaves Dodd to sit back and watch, biding his time as the backup quarterback.
"I was disappointed," Dodd said. "Who wouldn't be? I'm just going to embrace my role and wait until my number is called and make sure I'm ready when it is."
Dodd said he will continue to prepare and game plan as he always has, when he was the starter and the backup, ready if the opportunity to see meaningful action occurs.
Nova, on the other hand, looks to learn from last year and continue build on it in his sophomore year.
"Last year I felt like I was kind of tentative and obviously it showed. I made some freshman mistakes and stuff like that," Nova said. "This year I felt like I have a good understanding of it so I felt like I was relaxed out there, just playing loose and I think guys kind of fed off that. So just confidence and stuff like that. And coach obviously believed in me and I'm glad he made the decision he made."
One moment Nova will remember and cherish, but another he's already moved on from.
"It was a nice moment to hear that I'm the starter, but now the real hard work starts -- the season," Nova said. "We got a lot of tough opponents that we have to get ready for, obviously starting off with Tulane and we got this week and next week to get ready for them and hit this season off with a good start."