Home College Football Rutgers Gave Their Fans Something To Look For This Season

Rutgers Gave Their Fans Something To Look For This Season

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Photo Credit: Marvin Chambers
New Brunsick, NJ—-RutgersCoach Greg Schiano kicked off the televised event with an unexpected phrase, expressing his anticipation for “Air Ciarrocca,” referencing the offensive coordinator and the intriguing play calling during the Scarlet-White Game at SHI Stadium.
This spring, the spotlight shines on the team’s passing game improvement and the quarterback duel between Gavin Wimsatt and Athan Kaliakmanis, both vying for the starting role. Rutgers, known for its heavy reliance on the run last season, showcased a newfound emphasis on passing, with several long aerial attempts.
Last year starter Gavin Wimsatt, playing for the Scarlet team, finished 8-of-16 for 76 yards with one touchdown – a 3-yard pass to Nasir Montgomery at the end of the second quarter. He looked poised and looked good going through his progression
“The spring game is not always a great indicator of all that’s transpired,” coach Greg Schiano said. We have 14 practices where it is really ultra-competitive. Then the spring game is I would say more for the fans, for the young players to get used to used to playing in the stadium with some fans. Some guys, today that was by the far the biggest crowd they’ve ever played in front of. It’s great to do that when it doesn’t count.”
In the first half alone, the team attempted five passes exceeding 40 yards, completing one with Kaliakmanis connecting with Naseim Brantley for a 42-yard gain. Wimsatt also displayed his prowess with a well-thrown deep ball drawing a defensive pass interference. The quarterbacks led three scoring drives each before giving way to younger players in the second half.
The tight-end competition between Kenny Fletcher, Mike Higgins, and Victor Konopka is getting very interesting, with all three getting involved in the offense more than in the previous season.
Naseim Brantley, sidelined last year due to NCAA eligibility issues, showcased his readiness for the upcoming season with impressive catches, including a 42-yard reception and an eight-yard touchdown.
The defense saw some of the young guys getting reps with several veterans sitting out, providing valuable playing time for underclassmen. Standouts included breakups by Crumpler, an interception by true freshman Kaj Sanders, and seven tackles by sophomore Abram Wright.
Notable performances also came from freshman running back Edd Guerrier, junior linebacker Sam Gadie, sophomore receiver Deondre Johnson, senior Liam Rempel, who registered the game’s sole sack, and women’s basketball standout Destiney Adams, who caught a punt during halftime festivities.
Overall the whole team looks good but the main thing everyone left the competition without any injuries and gave the fans something to look forward this season.
Special mention goes to sideline reporter Dom Savino for calling the action from a ferris wheel positioned in the end zone, adding a unique touch to the broadcast.