April 29, 2011
Hokies first to offer emerging lineman
An emerging lineman in the Northeast pulled his first offer earlier this week. The scholarship came from Virginia Tech despite an injury that disrupted his season and saw the prospect play through a broken leg.
"I broke my leg in the sixth game last season and played the whole rest of the season on it, I basically splinted the thing up," Exton (Pa.) Downingtown East offensive guard Jack Willenbrock said. "It was my fibula, my outer point of my leg and it was hard to bare weight on it, so I was running really awkward.
"It was funny, cause it wasn't originally diagnosed as broken, so we taped it up and it started getting solid by the second round of the playoffs, most of my stability was back."
Despite playing through half the season with the injury, Willenbrock still earned honorable mention all-league honors. What does he think about playing through that type of injury?
"It wasn't much, I just wanted to get out there and play," he said. "I was angry I wasn't able to do a lot of the fast running and things like that, I was mostly mad and it sucks I broke my leg."
Not just a lineman, Willenbrock is a versatile prospect that is getting looks on both sides of the ball.
"I'm a player that can play multiple positions," he said. "I can play defensive end, offensive line and tight end. It's to a point I enjoy all of the positions equally and obviously different schools want different positions, so it depends on the school."
With recruiting, the 6-foot-4, 250-pounder pulled his first offer on Tuesday from Virginia Tech.
"It's my first offer, they offered two days ago," he said. "It was definitely a relief to get the first offer. That kick starts the process and it's definitely good to have."
Does he know anything about the Hokies?
"I definitely know a fair amount about them," he said. "I have some family from Virginia, my mom's side lives in Richmond and we vacation down there and go to the Outer Banks.
"Of course, I know about Michael Vick coming back and doing so well. That's really interesting for me and I know he's from Virginia Tech."
Already Willenbrock has been in touch with his recruiter, Shane Beamer.
"I have contacted their coaches and I'm planning on making a visit down there fairly soon, the sooner the better. I'm not sure exactly when, I've got to get the dates worked out."
So, where does Tech stand early in the race?
"As of right now they are the first offer I know about, so I definitely like the school and what I've heard it's a good program. I've talked to Drew Harris about it some since he's already visited."
But, Virginia Tech isn't the only college looking.
"I've gotten mail from a number of schools," he said. "I talk to a couple guys at Penn State, a couple coaches from Boston College and Pittsburgh. I've actually visited Pittsburgh, West Virginia and Penn State."
With offers starting to come in, does Willenbrock like anybody?
"Not that much, I really just am happy to have the opportunity to play at the next level and I'll look at wherever the best opportunity presents itself," he said. "I just want a good program, a sound program that's got wins, that's part of the game. I just want a place that really fits me, when I go; this place is for me whatever that may be. I think I'm looking to study business."
Though Willenbrock claims no favorites, he has ties to a college.
"My dad went to Penn State and that's big to an extent," he said. "I've grown up on them and I'm a fan, but when I look at schools, I've got to take the school for the school and figure out which one is right for me. I am planning on camping there this summer."
Downingtown East is home to fellow Hokie offer, tailback Drew Harris and do the two prospects want to play together?
"We're pretty close. I hope he'd say the same thing about me," he joked. "I like him and he likes me. I don't want him to go to a school he wouldn't want to go to, but if it happens that we go to the same school that'd be pretty awesome."
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