It is refreshing to hear Rutgers head coach Greg Schiano discuss a starting quarterback on the first day of training camp.
Schiano named Gavin Wimsatt the starting quarterback for 2023 prior to Big Ten Media Days last week. On Thursday, the team hit the field for the first time and Schiano spoke on what he saw from his guys.
“I think the guys did a really good job,” Schiano said. “They came out ready to practice. We’ve had a good summer.”
Wimsatt saw time in eight games last season. He entered Rutgers with great hype and that can come to fruition if he is able to put his skillset to full use. Wimsatt showed last season that he has the physical tools and now, it is about taking control as the No. 1 on the depth chart.
“Being a leader, number one,” Schiano said when asked what he is looking for from his quarterback. “Taking command of the offense. Making it his offense. Knowing it inside and out. Being able to problem solve.”
Last season, Wimsatt showed off impressive arm strength and physicality on the field. He struggled with pushing the ball downfield and accuracy. New offensive coordinator Kirk Ciarrocca has experience developing young talents in the Big Ten and that is what fans hope can happen here.
“I remember Kirk saying at the beginning, when we go play a game I want him to be a coach on the field,” Schiano said. “So, learning that level of expertise to what he’s doing. Then obviously the physical skills take over.”
Wimsatt’s confidence will continue to grow overtime and with more reps that he gets.
“I would say much more confident, especially with what I see and what I’m doing out on the field,” Wimsatt said. “Obviously, that’s thanks to my coaches and my teammates. Not only do my coaches teach me, but my teammates keep me accountable as well.”
Of course, this was an offense that needs to take a major step forward. Rutgers was at the bottom of the Big Ten in many categories and scored just 11.7 points per game in conference play. Aside from Wimsatt taking over under center, Rutgers attempted to improve its skill positions.
The Scarlet Knights added Jaquae Jackson and Naseim Brantley in the transfer portal and both can make an impact immediately.
“It’s a great battle right now,” Schiano said of his wide receivers. “I think we have a combination of youth and experience with the two fellow we brought in from the transfer portal, Naseim and Jaquae. They’re working well. I think Isaiah Washington is hitting his stride. Chris Long and then there’s a whole slew of others that are really good young players that just need to play. We need to make sure that we provide enough repetitions.”
“Our whole wide receiver and tight ends room improve a lot over the summer,” Wimsatt said. “I’m excited to see what those two groups have.”
It will be interesting to see how the offense improves for Rutgers in training camp as it prepares to take on Northwestern in the season-opener on Sept. 3. With Wimsatt under center, the Scarlet Knights will look for confidence and leadership at the most important position.