Gavin Wimsatt and the Scarlet Knights are coming off their biggest test of the season.
Rutgers suffered a 31-7 loss in Ann Arbor on Saturday at the hands of No. 2 Michigan. This was Wimsatt’s fifth start of the year and gave coaches a look at how he responds to the most hostile of environments.
Wimsatt finished 11-for-21 for 180 yards with one touchdown and one interception. He added six rushes for 28 yards. On the first possession of the afternoon, Wimsatt hit Christian Dremel for a 69-yard touchdown. From there, the offense stalled.
On Monday, head coach Greg Schiano spoke on what he has seen from his first-year starter under center.
“I think what Gavin is doing is he’s getting a better and better understanding of exactly what his job is, and he’s trusting his training,” Schiano said. “All offseason, I’ve told you guys that with Coach Ciarrocca, he’s trusting that training under the fire and he just needs to continue to do that.”
“He’s got the ability for sure. He’s done a nice job not only running the ball, not only throwing the ball but running the ball and being a complete quarterback.”
Wimsatt was a highly-touted prospect entering Rutgers and showed off his natural ability right away. He has also showed his ability to run the offense and is comfortable in Ciarrocca’s system.
For Wimsatt, the sky is the limit and there is time to see what has not been released.
“No one knows how good someone can get, right,” Schiano said. “I just look at Gavin’s trajectory, as long as he keeps the nose up, he’s going to get to a level where we all want him to. He’s learning every single game. I’m not going to get into specifics but there’s some things on the tape that you say ‘oh, great, that’s something we’ve been talking to him about and he got it.’”
The Scarlet Knights have showed off other weapons as well. Dremel and JaQuae Jackson have stepped up on the outside at times but there needs to be more consistency. Aaron Young and Samuel Brown have also returned from injury and continue to ramp it up to 100%.
On Christian Dremel:
“Christian has always been from the day I arrived an incredible hard worker. A guy who loves football and is intensely focused. He’s had some tough luck with injuries. He’s gotten to a point where he’s ready to go and then he had some freaky things. I’m really happy for him. Happy for us because he’s performing at a high level but I’m happy for him because he deserves it.”
On JaQuae Jackson:
“JaQuae and getting better every week. Unfortunately, he had a little injury during training camp that slowed him down. I wish that he had had all those practice repetitions to get in the groove with the offense. He didn’t start here until the summer, midsummer, because of the portal and his recruitment. It’s like he was here all spring where he got cumulative repetitions. So, then we get to training camp and he’s going well and then he has, he's forced to take a little break because of injury.”
On Aaron Young:
“He’s getting built back up as we speak. He does bring great versatility. I think he can do a lot of different things, and as he gets more and more in that zone, so to speak, I think there will be more roles for him to play.”
On Samuel Brown:
“I don’t know if it’s last season or what, but I look at it as, is he ready; has he had enough repetitions that you can go in and know that he’ll do things, muscle memory, and not have to think about it. Because when you’re thinking about stuff that you need to be able to do just naturally, you open yourself up to two things: You open yourself up to injury, No. 1 because you are not playing as fast as usually do. And you also open yourself to not performing the way you’re capable of.
I think this week of practice now, it will be the third consecutive. That’s getting into that sweet spot now where hopefully he can play more.”