Greg Schiano was the second head coach of the day to speak on Wednesday during Big Ten Media Days in Indianapolis.
Schiano began his press conference by speaking on the players he brought with him to represent the Scarlet Knights.
“Deion Jennings, linebacker is a sixth-year senior, really a special player,” Schiano said. “Aaron Lewis, another guy that is just an energizer bunny and brings it to our team everyday. Johnny Langan, tight end for us. Just a super young man. As a head coach, when your best players are your hardest workers, that’s a nice place to be in.”
He continued to discuss the state of Rutgers Football before taking questions.
“I’ve never been more excited to be the head coach at Rutgers University,” Schiano said. “I love what we’re doing. I love the culture that we’re building in our program. I love our players and coaching staff and how we’re handling business on and ff the field.”
Below, checkout what Schiano had to say about different topics surrounding both Rutgers and college football as a whole in 2023.
On elimination of divisions and addition of USC and UCLA in 2024:
“Well, ‘23 is the thing that I’m focused on. Looking at it, it really didn’t change much for us in ‘24 so it’s not going to be any different. I’m sure it will be when it’s time but we’ll worry about that when we get there. This ‘23 season and really training camp is my focus right now.”
On changes within the program when returning to Rutgers:
“It’s a little different in our situation because I had been there 11 years before I left then I was gone for eight years. I was a little bit shocked at how much things have changed and I’m not just talking about the athletes or the football. I’m talking about the infrastructure. We really had to rebuild a lot of things. Whether it was medical coverage or how the players ate, nutrition, training. I didn’t complain because when you take a job, you know what has to get done. I think we’re in a great place right now. The support for our student-athletes is unparalleled. In college football, what we do for the players and I think our guys know that. In this age of the transfer portal, our guys are staying put. I really feel like those things had to be rebuilt while simultaneously the recruiting and developing players in our program. I feel like we’re right where we need to be moving forward.”
On how to change NIL and transfer portal landscape:
“Somehow, somehow if the universities can control more of the NIL, just so there’s uniformity. No one is doing it right now other than the third parties so I’m grateful or else we’d be in big trouble but when you look at most other businesses, that’s not the way it works. There’s someone who has another vested interest. Somehow, I think we need to bring that back in-house. How do we do that? There’s people that need to make that decision. Not me, I have to coach a team but I do believe that we do have to somehow get our arms back around it.”
On biggest challenge faced at Rutgers:
“I think, number one, you look around at all the logos on that wall. We play in the best conference in America so we have to build a program that can compete at that level and eventually become a championship program. So, how do you do that? You do it one step at a time. You recruit the right players and you develop them. To me, that’s it. Part of the development is all the things that surround them. I mentioned the nutrition, strength and conditioning, mental health, physical health. The football part, that’s what they love.”
On prep for Northwestern with David Braun as head coach:
“I don’t think as much as it was a total overhaul. Defensively, they didn’t bring him in to be the defensive coordinator and run someone else’s defense. That’s going to remain the same so we’re going to study and prepare for it. The biggest thing in my career is that make sure your own team is ready. That’s the biggest challenge. Make sure Rutgers is ready. We know that Northwestern is gonna show up on the 3rd so we have to make sure that we do.”
On recruiting in-state:
“It’s always important to recruit your backyard. There’s no doubt about that. The most important thing is that you get the right players that fit your culture and are gifted enough to play, compete, and win in the Big Ten conference. When we looked at our program the first time, it wasn't cool to go to Rutgers back in 2000, 2001, 2002. So we recruited everywhere to get the right people to fit our program. Then when we won, the local guys, it was cool to go to Rutgers. I feel good that the New York-New Jersey area, which is our backyard, we will be consistently recruiting the best players. Will we get them all? No but I’m not worried about that.”
On Kirk Ciarrocca coming in as offensive coordinator:
“Kirk Ciarrocca is a veteran coach and one that I know very well. He was on our staff at Rutgers the first go-around. He brings experience. He brings clarity and knows exactly what he wants to go. I think he does a great job leading and managing our staff. I’m excited. I enjoy going to work everyday. I enjoy being with him. He’s a true professional and thank God we have him because my job has changed so much in the past year. Between Kirk Ciarrocca and Joe Harasymiak, I couldn't be more pleased. It’s the best staff I've been on in my whole career. Again, thank goodness because a lot of my time is spent on NIL and a lot of those things that have very little to do with offense or defense. If they weren’t there, I don’t know what would give. I’m very pleased and fortunate to have them in our prgoram.”