Former Rutgers quarterback Mike Teel believes Greg Schiano did right by Gavin Wimsatt

Wednesday’s announcement of Athan Kaliakmanis as the starting quarterback for Rutgers football certainly surprised Mike Teel. The all-time leading passer in Rutgers football history, Teel was not expecting a decision to come so soon in the quarterback competition.

But at the end of the day, Teel said that the decision by Rutgers head coach Greg Schiano to announce a starter now did right by not just his team but also Gavin Wimsatt.

Shortly after Kaliakmanis was named the starting quarterback, Wimsatt entered the transfer portal.

A multi-year starter at Rutgers, Wimsatt led Rutgers to a bowl win last season, something the program hadn’t done since 2014. The former four-star recruit took a big gamble when he joined Rutgers in 2021.

Wimsatt played through lots of pain during the 2022 season and always conducted himself with high character.

Teel, who played four years at Rutgers under Schiano, thinks that the head coach did right by his player.

“I was surprised with the timing. On the flip side, I think the timing of this is the most beneficial thing for all parties involved,” Teel told Rutgers Wire on Wednesday night.

“And it’s hard because when I was in school, it was so much less of a business on the player side. Right now, it is a business on the player side. And for Gavin, I think the fact that the coaching staff was able to make a decision and – unfortunately for Gavin it wasn’t going to be him. But it gives him the opportunity to get into the portal, to find another place to play and then find another place to make money.

“And I think coach Schiano did it the right way and I don’t know if there’s precedent on how it’s supposed to be done right now, but I think he did it the right way. It gives Gavin an opportunity to get in the portal. Hopefully, he gets to a team before training camp and has a chance to compete wherever ends up.”

The decision by Schiano to act in his player’s best interest, and not necessarily that of the team, is in stark contrast to some of the things taking place in Colorado this week with head coach Deion Sanders. Schiano very easily could have put up a facade of a quarterback competition through camp so that Wimsatt wouldn’t leave the team.

In this scenario, Wimsatt would have been boxed in due to the calendar and stayed with the program in the fall. It would have given Rutgers an experienced back-up quarterback but would have left WImsatt in a tough spot.

Last year, Wimsatt accounted for 20 total touchdowns and threw for 1,,735 yards.

The nod for Kaliakmanis is big for the team too.

A transfer portal addition this offseason out of Minnesota, Kaliakmanis came to Rutgers because of the presence of offensive coordinator Kirk Ciarrocca. Now in his second year at Rutgers, Ciarrocca had previously been at Minnesota.

It was there that he recruited and coached Kaliakmanis.

“For the team itself, I think it does answer any questions or any concerns that there might be,” Teel said.

“The decision was made. This is how we’re moving forward. And, you know, it’s a business decision that is in the best interests of the team and the offense, and that’s how they’re going to look at it. That’s how we’re going to move forward.”

The quarterback competition very easily could have dragged out until training camp but it was clear that Schiano and Ciarrocca saw something in Kaliakmanis that would make him their starter.

In announcing the starter now, it affords Wimsatt the opportunity to enter the transfer portal now when there are more opportunities rather than in the summer when the choices would not be as ideal.

Story originally appeared on Rutgers Wire