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Quarterback Athan Kaliakmanis on joining Rutgers football: ‘I came here to win’

PISCATAWAY, N.J. — Familiarity with Rutgers football offensive coordinator Kirk Ciarrocca played a role in Athan Kaliakmanis committing to the Scarlet Knights this offseason.

But make no mistakes about it, Kalaikamanis is here to compete and win with Rutgers.

Kaliakmanis transferred to Rutgers in early January, shortly after the Scarlet Knights won the Bad Boy Mowers Pinstripe Bowl over Miami.

In 2023 as a sophomore at Minnesota, Kaliakmanis completed 53.1 percent of his passes for 1,831 yards with 14 touchdowns and nine interceptions.

On Tuesday for the first time since he transferred to Rutgers, Kaliakamanis

“I came here to win, and to do whatever I can to help this team win,” Kaliakmanis said on Tuesday.

“So if that’s me putting my body on the line for my teammates, I’m willing to do it. I’m just willing to do anything I can to help this team win whatever the role that is, whatever the situation is. That’s what I want to do.”

In 2022, Kaliakmanis played well under Kirk Ciarrocca, then the offensive coordinator at Minnesota. As a freshman, he completed 54.1 percent of his passes for 946 yards, with three touchdowns and four interceptions.

Coming to Rutgers was in large part due to the presence of Ciarrocca on the staff. Last year, Ciarrocca was responsible for a dramatic turnaround of the Rutgers offense.

For much of the past decade, Rutgers has ranked near the bottom of the Big Ten in nearly every significant offensive category. Enter Ciarrocca, who made the offense viable in 2023.

“I’m just very fortunate that they were interested when I was in the portal,” Kalaikmanis said.

“You know, the portal can be a scary place. I was very fortunate that a lot of schools (were) interested but very thankful that coach Ciarrocca and coach Schiano (head coach Greg Schiano) were interested in me. But yeah, I mean, our relationship is very, very tight -it was at Minnesota. And just picking his brain, I think he’s a very, very smart coordinator. He’s very intelligent, and I trust him.”

Story originally appeared on Rutgers Wire