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Tom Savage bails on Rutgers

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PISCATAWAY, N.J. -- Quarterback Tom Savage, once considered the face of Rutgers football, is leaving the Scarlet Knights program.

The sophomore, who lost his starting job to freshman Chas Dodd, informed coach Greg Schiano that he plans to transfer, the school announced Saturday.

One of the school's most highly touted recruits, Savage played 18 games during his two-year career and competed 52.2 percent of his passes. He finished with 2,732 yards passing, 16 touchdowns and 10 interceptions.

Savage took over as the Scarlet Knights' starter two games into his freshman season and led the team to a 9-4 mark, including a 45-24 win over Central Florida in the St. Petersburg Bowl. But he struggled as a sophomore and was replaced by Dodd after four games.

The initial change was made because Savage suffered a hand injury in a loss to Tulane. But Schiano never gave the starting job back to the sophomore, who was 43 of 83 for 521 yards with two touchdown passes and three interceptions in six games this season.

Rutgers also announced that freshman running back Casey Turner was transferring to Florida A&M. He did not play this season because of problems with a groin injury.

"We wish Tom and Casey the best in their future endeavors," Schiano said in a statement.

Savage had a spectacular freshman season. He passed for 2,211 yards and 14 touchdowns, and his passing yardage and touchdowns were the most by a true freshman in Big East history.

Savage also had the best touchdown-to-interception ratio in the nation for any true freshman quarterback in 2009, and his passing yards were the sixth-most in a season in school history.

The pass that most Rutgers fans' will remember was his career-long 81-yard scoring strike to Tim Brown with 22 seconds to give the Scarlet Knights a dramatic win over Connecticut.

Before going to Rutgers, Savage played at Cardinal O'Hara High School, where he was rated as the No. 3 pro-style quarterback in the nation by Tom Lemming/MaxPreps.com.

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