For Michigan fans the name “Wangler” is pretty familiar.
John Wangler was Bo Schembechler’s first pass-first quarterback, and when he made that perfect throw to a streaking Anthony Carter in 1979 for the Wolverines’ 27-21 win over Indiana, he solidified himself in Michigan football history.
And now his son, 2013 wide receiver prospect Jack Wangler (Warren, Mich./De La Salle), might be the next Wangler who dons a winged helmet.
He hasn’t picked up any offers, but he has seen interest from MAC and Ivy League schools. He’ll be camping at Michigan this summer and hopes to catch the attention of the coaches.
Obviously the name will turn some heads in Ann Arbor, but his skills might garner the same amount of attention, especially after an impressive showing at the Columbus Nike Football Training Camp earlier this month.
But without any offers yet, he has had time to decide what’s really important to him in a college decision.
“It depends on the situations given to me,” Wangler said. “But whatever I think is the place best for me is where I’ll go. That could be Michigan, but maybe not. I don’t know what the future holds.”
The Wolverines have already picked up two 2013 receiver commitments in Jaron Dukes (Columbus/Marion-Franklin) and Csont’e York (Detroit/Chandler Park Academy), but the possibility of a preferred walk-on spot isn’t out of the question.
Last year, Michigan wide receiver coach Jeff Hecklinski offered a preferred walk-on spot to 2012 receiver Bo Dever after he camped with the Wolverines even though Michigan was expecting to, and did, take three talented receivers in its 2012 class.
However, Wangler said he wasn’t sure whether he’d accept a preferred walk-on position at Michigan over other potential scholarships offers.
“I’d have to think long and hard about it because there are a lot of priorities that go into what makes a school the best fit,” Wangler said.
John said he wants to see Jack at a school where he’ll enjoy his experience -- athletically and academically -- even if that means Jack isn’t a Wolverine.
“I told him, ‘I love Michigan,’ that’ll never change and if that’s the best place in the end, that’s wonderful,” John said. “But there are so many other places he can have a great experience, and I will be his biggest fan wherever he goes.”
Even though the recruiting process is much changed since John went through it, Jack said he has leaned on him a lot and that his father has been a valuable tool during his recruitment.
“My dad just keeps telling me to work hard even though scholarships haven’t come yet,” Wangler said. “He’s just keeping me positive, keeping me motivated. Hopefully if I keep doing what I’m doing, it’ll come soon.”
He might see those offers after this summer full of camps and combines. Additionally, Jack transferred to De La Salle High School this winter and will be playing with 2013 Michigan quarterback commit Shane Morris this fall.
Wangler transferred from a school with 140 boys to 800, so the football competition is higher and being a part of that will help to elevate Jack’s game, John believes.
“He and [his brother] Jared wanted the opportunity to play and compete at the highest level,” John said. “If you want to be the best you have to play the best and that’s what he wants.”