Under Familiar OC, Former Gophers QB Athan Kaliakmanis Named Rutgers Starter

Athan Kaliakmanis, Rutgers, Minnesota Gophers
Chris Pedota, NorthJersey.com / USA TODAY NETWORK

The Minnesota Gophers football team will look a lot different in 2024 than it did in 2023 and those changes begin at the quarterback position where Athan Kaliakmanis is out and New Hampshire grad transfer Max Brosmer is in.

Athan Kaliakmanis named starter at Rutgers

But that doesn’t mean Gopher football fans won’t see Athan. In fact, if all goes as planned we’ll get a really close look at his NEW JERSEY home, when Minnesota travels to Piscataway to play against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights, who he was just named QB1 for.

Kaliakmanis announced his transfer just days after the Minnesota Gophers season ended and the parting wasn’t without hurt feelings. Head coach PJ Fleck had all but anointed Athan as his QB of the future back in 2019 and it ended in a complete failure four years later. No matter whose fault it was, that isn’t an easy situation to be a part of on either side.

Reuniting with old Minnesota Gophers OC friend

No doubt, part of Athan’s issues while a Gopher was the instability at offensive coordinator. Fleck’s longtime OC Kirk Ciarrocca, whose only recruiting mission after PJ Fleck was hired in 2017 was landing Kaliakmanis, jumped on a big raise from Penn State and opportunity to move closer to family, following Minnesota’s historic 2019 season.

He was fired after one season with the Nittany Lions. After one season with West Virginia, PJ Fleck hired him back (2022). He repaid that favor by leaving one year later for… Rutgers. That’s right, Kirk Ciarrocca, the offensive coordinator who recruited Athan Kaliakmanis to Minnesota, is now the OC at Rutgers, where Athan was just named QB1.

Related: Why Did Athan Kaliakmanis Enter the Transfer Portal?

That will make for a very interesting mid-November meeting in New Jersey, should Kaliakmanis still be starter that deep into the season. As Minnesota Gophers quarterback, the “Greek Rifle” passed for 2,784 yards, 17 touchdowns and 13 interceptions in 23 appearances, most of them starts. His career completion percentage in Dinkytown was a paltry 53.3%.

Career3 Yrs2321640553.327846.96.31713118.5
Provided by CFB at Sports Reference: View Original Table
Generated 5/2/2024

Related: Minnesota Gophers QB Max Brosmer Makes Senior Bowl Watch List

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