April 18, 2011

Witucki visits Kent State

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The recruiting process has picked up for Natrona Heights, Pa., offensive lineman Jake Witucki.

Though the 6-foot-5, 283-pounder holds just one scholarship offer, he has drawn interest from a host of other programs including Pittsburgh, Purdue, Maryland, Connecticut, Akron, Bowling Green, Kent State and several others.

"I'm in the process of scheduling an unofficial visit to Purdue and have been hearing from Connecticut a little bit," Witucki said.

Witucki had planned to attend spring games at Akron and Kent State over the weekend. The Golden Flashes extended a verbal scholarship offer early in March.

Witucki's spring game visit would be his third to Kent.

"I've actually been up there twice, once on a unofficial visit, and the other time, I observed a spring practice," he said.

So far, he likes what he sees out of new head coach Darrell Hazell and his assistants.

"I was really impressed with coach Hazell and the rest of the coaching staff. They treated me really well and coach (Chris) Bache, the offensive line coach, was just very honest and direct with me, which I really appreciated," he said.

Bache gave Witucki some good advice on handling the recruiting process.

"He told me that I need to make sure that Kent State is the right place for me and he urged me to look at as many schools as possible," Witucki said. "He stressed academics and told me that he would be tough on me and do everything possible to make me a better football player and person."

Like most schools, Kent State is recruiting Witucki as a tackle.

He's been a starter at tackle for the past two years at Highlands High School and in 2011 he hopes to play both ways.

"I don't have a set defensive position, but I will learn any position that the coach needs me at," he said.

During the off-season Witucki said his focus is on developing more strength. Because he's a three-sport participant in high school he rarely has the time to spend in the weight room.

"Because I've played three sports up until this year I haven't been able to concentrate on weight lifting. So that's what I'm working really hard on this year," he said. "I'm also trying to improve my speed and agility by doing track and field this year and the track coach is really understanding of that and he helps me out as much as possible."

At Highlands, Witucki works in an offense that runs the ball about 60-percent of the time, but he's confident he could fit into a spread offense in college.

Witucki's grandfather played football at Cincinnati and his father and two uncles played at Division II schools.

This summer Witucki plans to hit several camps, which will allow him to check out many of the most interest schools. He hopes that helps him when the time comes to pick a college.

"It's very early for a favorite and when I am ready to choose favorites I want to make sure it's the right one, because this is one of the biggest decisions in my life," he said.

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