Rich Czeczotka is a very big piece to someone’s football puzzle. But where does he fit?
The senior quarterbacked the Knights to an 11-1 season and the in the fall. With National Signing Day arriving Wednesday, Czeczotka had hoped to have his future mapped out.
Teammates Nick Wagner and Kevin Malloy each celebrated Signing Day by announcing commitments to Football Bowl Subdivision schools. , will be a preferred walk-on at Stony Brook University. Malloy, also a preferred walk-on, will play tight end at Albany.
Wagner turned down scholarship offers from C.W. Post and Bryant.
“The life-long dream is finally here,” said Wagner, a two-way threat who is confident he can be an impact player at Stony Brook. “It’s real now.”
That’s not yet the case for Czeczotka and several other Glenn teammates who hope to play college football.
Life has a way of upsetting even the most carefully crafted of game plans. Now Czeczotka waits while two Division I schools – Rutgers and Bowling Green – sort out scenarios beyond his control.
Rutgers, a Big East power that’s shown interest in the East Northport signal caller, had its recruiting mojo upset by the sudden departure of longtime Coach Greg Schiano. The coach was hired away by the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers, leaving a void at Rutgers just weeks before Signing Day. It forced Czeczotka to postpone a visit he had planned to the New Jersey campus.
The 6-foot-2, 215-pound quarterback said Bowling Green has expressed interest in him, too. But only if a certain quarterback on their wish list does not commit. Well, Bowling Green signed one quarterback – James Knapke from Fort Wayne, Ind. – on Signing Day. No word on whether it’s a deal breaker for Czeczotka.
Czeczotka, who has been working out six days a week since season’s end, likes Stony Brook too. If he decides to stay home, don’t be surprised if Czeczotka ends up in a Seawolves uniform.
But Czeczotka and Rutgers will get another shot to evaluate a potential marriage come Friday when the senior takes an official visit – one that was rescheduled from one week earlier.
Since then Rutgers Assistant Kyle Flood, who was personally recruiting Czeczotka and had twice travelled to Long Island to talk up the young gun, has been elevated to Head Coach.
“Coach Flood has been recruiting me,” Czeczotka said. “He’s come to my house to talk to me. I’d love to play for him. So if the visit goes well, I’m going to commit to Rutgers.”
The makes Czeczotka an attractive option. He showed off a big arm, running ability and defensive awareness for a in his one year as starter.
“It showed his athleticism,” said. “We got a lot of traffic [recruiters] through here. His ability to throw the ball and make decisions was paramount. In our offense, quarterback does a lot.”
According to Shanahan, if Czeczotka decides on Rutgers it will be as a preferred walk-on – which in recruiting parlance is a big step up from walk-on but not yet a scholarship athlete.
Shanahan said his quarterback has the arm to compete at the Division I level. Anyone who saw the big throws Czeczotka made on the big stage of the Suffolk Division IV championship game can attest. But it will be up to Czeczotka to pick the right college program and make it happen.
Several other Knights await their opportunity too. Mike Diesu, Kevin Dixon, Lameek Jarvis, Marc Lucien, Jon Mannix, and Anton Swain each plan to play college football, but are mulling options at multiple schools, from Division II C.W. Post to D-III Hartwick.
For one day at least, the championship Glenn football squad came together to celebrate one more victory. Two seniors have it all figured out. Wagner and Malloy know their final destinations.
That should give their teammates the energy and courage to push forward on their college quest. Their futures are bright but still far from settled. After years of working together for a collective goal, these seniors will have to walk this path alone.