Greg Schiano talks big differences between now and first Rutgers tenure

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Greg Schiano joined Brandon Tierney during Thursday’s Tiki and Tierney show, and said there is a clear difference this time around as opposed to his first tenure at Rutgers, and it is paying off.

“When you come back and you have some credibility from having done it last time, you kind of get an audience right out of the gate, and I can tell you that first time, we didn’t get an audience,” Schiano said. “We literally had to go to other parts of the country to recruit our team because – people in the local area – it just wasn’t cool to go to Rutgers.

“I think we changed that the first go-round and fortunately we were able to pick up right where we left off and do well recruiting. The better you do on the field, the better you’re gonna do recruiting. That’s a fact.”

Things have changed this time for Schiano. Playmaking wide receiver Aron Cruickshank is from nearby Brooklyn, and tight end Johnny Langan is a Wayne, New Jersey native. But Schiano is still able to go out and get touted recruits from outside the area, like hyped quarterback recruit Gevin Wimsatt, from Kentucky.

Schiano says the changing of conferences is a big reason why the Scarlet Knights are more firmly on the map and set up for future success in his second time around.

“It’s hugely different,” Schiano said. “From 2002 on, we really worked our tail off to get us into the Big 10, and unfortunately, I left before we were able to do it. But that day I heard it, I said, ‘That’s the game changer.’ And it is a game changer.”

The Rutgers basketball team has undergone a massive resurgence, ending a painfully long NCAA Tournament drought and turning the RAC into a legit home court advantage in the Big 10. Now, Schiano is ready to follow suit on the gridiron.

“They’re ahead of where we are now,” Schiano said. “But we sure want to mimic that and get the football program to that level.”

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