Rutgers football OC Kirk Ciarrocca raves about Athan Kalaikmanis’ Big Ten experience: ‘There’s no substitute for experience’


PISCATAWAY, N.J. — For Kirk Ciarrocca, familiarity bred a desire to be reunited with Athan Kalaikmanis. So when the quarterback entered the transfer portal after two years at Minnesota, Ciarrocca was ready.

The arrival of Kaliakmanis this offseason is a net positive for Rutgers, given his experience starting in the Big Ten. He is also experienced in playing for Ciarrocca, a point that factored significantly into his portal recruitment.

With incumbent starter Gavin Wimsatt already in the fold, Rutgers now has two quarterbacks boasting significant Big Ten starting experience.

Prior to arriving at Rutgers last year, Ciarrocca was the offensive coordinator at Minnesota. He recruited Kaliakmanis to the program and oversaw him getting playing time for Minnesota as a freshman.

“I think that was very attractive to us. You know, the fact that he knew the system. He knew me,” Ciarrocca said on Thursday following practice.

“I knew what his work ethic was like, I knew what type of person he was. I knew that he would fit into our culture. So I was really excited about the opportunity to bring him here because I know it strengthens our roster, and it was going to make the position better.”

Ciarrocca and Kaliakmanis had fostered a strong relationship in their one year together at Minnesota, and it was enough to pull the quarterback to New Jersey.

In now his second year at Rutgers, Ciarrocca worked a borderline miracle with the offense, turning around a unit that was among the worst in the Big Ten for much of the past decade and making them respectable. The one area that struggled with some inconsistency was the passing game and that is where Kaliakmanis enters the competition with some strength to his game.

But the building block for this offseason is going to be that Kaliakmanis has a familiarity with not just Ciarrocca the…

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Author : Rutgers Wire

Publish date : 2024-03-29 04:01:07

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