Monday, March 25, 2013
Recruiting notebook: adidas invitational
By Tom VanHaaren
The adidas invitational had a roster full of the top Midwest prospects from the 2014, 2015 and 2016 classes. With that many recruits in one place that means there is plenty of recruiting news to be passed around. Here are a few notes and updates from the camp:
Among the offensive line standouts at the adidas invitational was Ethan Mckenzie (Indianapolis/Heritage Christian), a 6-foot-5, 290-pound prospect who has some unique qualities -- including boasting a 3.97 GPA and a 1500 on his SAT.
Mckenzie has also recently gotten involved with his high school's lacrosse team to work on his speed and agility, a sport someone his size isn't typically a part of.
On the hoof he looks tall, but not physically imposing. That didn't matter though as Mckenzie worked himself into the top performers list Sunday and even earned co-MVP for offensive linemen along with J.C. Hassenauer (Woodbury, Minn./East Ridge).
Mckenzie hasn't received his first offer yet, but has been in contact with plenty of schools showing early interest.
"I have heard from Purdue, Illinois, Wisconsin, Harvard, Princeton, Yale, Dartmouth, Brown, West Pointe and Louisville," he said. "I'd really like to hear from Vanderbilt or Stanford, though -- those are both very good schools."
It's obvious to see that academics will be important for Mckenzie as he continues to look for the right fit. He plans on making it out to Indiana for the spring game and hopes to get to Purdue and Wisconsin for spring practices.
Kyle Rachwal (Lapeer, Mich./Lapeer East) is an interesting tight end prospect that seems to be on the verge of landing an offer any day now. He has been in contact with numerous programs, but each one is saying the same thing for now.
"I've had three or four coaches say they want to see me in camp, and if I do what they want that I will get an offer," he said. "I have about 80 percent of the Big Ten contacting me and I'll just be hitting up a bunch of camps this summer."
The 6-foot-3, 215-pound prospect has made it out to a few schools already, including Michigan and Cincinnati, but more visits are definitely on the way. He is encouraged by the mail he continues to get and hopes that it's a precursor for his future.
"I got a handwritten letter from (Michigan) Coach (Fred) Jackson inviting me to their camp," he said. "I've had other letters from other schools saying the same, too."
Birmingham (Mich.) Brother Rice typically has fundamentally sound defenders, including linebacker Jon Reschke this past season. Going forward, cornerback Chris Carter is hoping to hold down the fort for his team and maybe even follow in Reschke's footsteps.
"I like Michigan State and it would be cool because I have Jon up there now, so it would be cool to meet up with him again," he said. "I've talked to Northern Illinois, they asked me to send my transcripts, I talked to Indiana about a visit, Toledo and I also talked to a coach from BYU."
Carter has been in contact with quite a few schools and is hoping his camp performances will trigger some movement in his recruitment. He is planning on making trips to Ball State for a spring practice, Akron for the spring game and Indiana. He has one school in mind outside of the Midwest that he would like to include on his schedule, though.
"This summer I want to go down to Miami's camp so I can gauge my talent down there and see where I'm at," he said. "I want to go down there and see what the competition is like and see what happens."
UNDERCLASSMEN ON THE RISE
There were plenty of underclassmen at the event giving us a glimpse into the future of recruiting. With some big names on hand there were some future recruits that flew under the radar.
Linebacker Carter Masek (Grand Rapids, Mich./East Grand Rapids) is a slender 6-foot-3, 215 pounds, but he is a prospect starting to pick up steam on the recruiting trail.
"I just visited Michigan State this past Thursday, I'm visiting Toledo soon and then Northwestern over spring break," he said. "I've received mail from Central Michigan, Western Michigan and Northwestern."
Farmington Hills (Mich.) Harrison wide receiver Desmond Fitzpatrick was another young prospect attending the event who has a bright future. Fitzpatrick is only a 2016 prospect, but has already taken a visit to a Big Ten school.
"Indiana invited us out there after seeing my film. They gave us a tour of the facilities, we saw practice and got a tour of the campus," he said. "They told us they're really interested in me and want me to come back up for the spring game."
Fitzpatrick will be attending some of the local school camps over the summer and is hoping to impress after growing three inches from last camp season.