Mike Teel knows a thing or two about what it takes to play quarterback at Rutgers. Heading into his second offseason as a graduate assistant under Kyle Flood, Teel may have found someone in Jacksonville (Fla.) University Christian quarterback Chris Riddle.
The 6-foot-3, 200-pound senior quarterback holds multiple preferred walk-on offers close to home, and Rutgers could be next.
“[Teel] is the one I’ve been in the most contact with,” Riddle said. “He showed coach [Ralph] Friedgen my film and they both said they really liked it. … We’ve had some great conversations.”
Fully healed and transferred to University Christian for a senior year, most schools already had a 2015 commitment before he returned to the field.
“It’s hard because I was talking to a lot of different schools my junior year,” Riddle said. “They were all waiting on my junior film before going further with things. When I couldn’t get them that film, they all found other guys. It was frustrating.”
Riddle threw for 1,600 yards, 15 touchdowns and six interceptions as primarily a pocket passer this season, and has the attention of multiple schools. Florida Atlantic offered Riddle a preferred walk-on spot already, and both North Texas and Maryland remain on the radar alongside Rutgers.
The recruiting dead period approaches its end next week, and Riddle expects to hear more from Rutgers after Teel and Friedgen bring his film to Flood.
“If I’m going to walk on somewhere, I want it to be a big school like Rutgers,” Riddle said. “ If you ask any kid, of course he wants to be offered, but at the end of the day, the ability to play, even if the coaches want you there as a preferred walk-on, it’s an honor.”
Rutgers has four quarterbacks expected for training camp in sophomores Chris Laviano and Hayden Rettig, red-shirt freshman Giovanni Rescigno and freshman Michael Dare. Both Gary Nova and Mike Bimonte moved on after the 2014 season, which leaves room for one or two more quarterbacks in the meeting rooms and on the field.
“I’ve been researching Rutgers, and I like their coaching staff,” Riddle said. “Coach Friedgen has a ton of experience as an offensive coordinator. He’s very impressive. I was talking to coach Teel, and he said they run about 60-40, but that’s fine with me. If you have a strong run game, the play-action passing opens up very well. I definitely don’t have a problem with that.”
Riddle has nothing planned before National Signing Day, but expects to set official visits after the end of the dead period. Rutgers traditionally hosts preferred walk-on candidates the weekend before Signing Day.
“I’d say my best strengths are that I have a strong arm and I’m accurate,” Riddle said. “I’m a pocket-passing quarterback, but I still have mobility. I can make defenders miss and extend plays. … One thing I really pride myself in is my ability on the run.”
Watch Riddle's highlight film inside.