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Pitt names former Rutgers standout Tom Savage starting quarterback

Tom Savage Tom Savage was a breakout star for Rutgers in 2009, but hasn't played since '10. (Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

By Zac Ellis

Former Rutgers quarterback Tom Savage will start under center for Pittsburgh when the Panthers open the season against Florida State on Sept. 2, ESPN's Brett McMurphy reports.

Savage takes the reins for the Panthers despite not having played football since the 2010 season. After earning the starting quarterback job as a freshman at Rutgers in 2009, Savage earned team offensive MVP honors when he completed 149-of-289 passes for 2,211 yards, 14 touchdowns and seven interceptions. The following season, however, he lost the starting gig amid injuries and decided to transfer to Arizona.

After sitting out the 2011 season because of NCAA transfer rules, Savage decided to transfer again without playing a single down, this time to Pitt. The Wildcats were about to break in a new coach in Rich Rodriguez, and though Savage cited family on the East coast as one of his reasons for moving to Pitt, the quarterback's pro-style game seemed bound to clash with Rodriguez's spread scheme.

Upon arriving at Pitt, Savage sat out the 2012 season. Now he has a chance to live up to the hype he garnered when he arrived at Rutgers as a top-10 quarterback prospect. He showed promise during the 2009 season: His passing yards and touchdowns were the most by a true freshman quarterback in Big East history. For the time being at least, he's the answer for the Panthers as they work to replace three-year starter Tino Sunseri.

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