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Minooka’s 2018 OG/DT Derek Wentworth just picked up his first offer from Indiana State with plenty more FCS/FBS schools showing strong interest. We talked what differentiates him on the field, his camp and visit plans and what’s next for his recruiting.
Commitment status: Undecided
Wt: 280 lbs
LPI: What are you going to do to take your game to the next level this offseason? Are you playing any other sports?
DW: This off season I’ve been doing everything I possibly can to better myself. I work out every day with the team and stay after to better myself in every way I can. I go home and eat right and work cardio and speed at night. The fact that this is my last high school football season has pushed me in ways that I physically thought were impossible. I also wrestle during the winter and it keeps me on my toes.
LPI: Just last week you added your first offer from Indiana State. What skill set can you bring to the table for a college football program?
DW: Well, to be honest, I don’t think there’s another person in the conference and even so much in the state who’s willing to sacrifice as much as I am for the program I represent. I take charge of any situation and have been reputable enough to where people will follow me and my decisions. I’m a good 6’3 280lbs and I feel like I have a motor and a will to do whatever it takes to get the job done for the team. Technique wise, I feel like I’m extremely solid. I’ve been more than blessed to have coaches throughout my life who have been able to teach me proper pad level, proper hand placement, and precise footwork. For being as big as I am, I ran a laser timed 4.88 40 yard dash, but also can squat 550lbs. I’m extremely flexible, and have pretty fluid movement and direction changes. But most importantly I feel like I have a football intelligence and passion for the game that you won’t find in a lot of other people. I’m a leader and a go getter. Where ever I end up I expect myself to make a positive impact on the program the minute I step on campus.
LPI: Besides Indiana State, which schools have shown serious interest in you?
DW: I’ve had a real wide range of schools show serious interest. I’ve had DIII schools such as Benedictine and St. Norbert, DII schools like St. Cloud State and Winona State, to Division I programs such as Illinois State, North Dakota State, University of North Dakota, South Dakota State, University of South Dakota, Southern Illinois, Western Illinois, Wyoming, Kansas State, and Air Force Academy.
LPI: Where have you visited most recently and do you have any planned visits or camps/showcases set?
DW: I took a visit to Illinois State a couple of months ago, I plan to take a visit down to Indiana State in a couple weeks. Camp wise, I’m looking to go to Elmhurst satellite camp and North Central’s satellite camp.
LPI: On or off the field, how do you demonstrate leadership or go the extra mile for your teammates?
DW: I’ve been part of 2 varsity teams previously and have gotten to learn from great leaders who’ve gone through our program. Every one of these guys on the team knows that I’m willing to take bullets for them. I feel like I’ve earned the respect of everyone on the team by just being vocal, getting on guys for being late to lifting, leading stretches, but also things like calling team meetings and keeping the morale up on the team. We went through a crazy train ride when we experienced a coaching change, and I feel like I was the guy to keep everyone focused on the real goal and Week 1 against Oswego.
LPI: Who are some of your teammates or training partners that you believe can play at the next level, but have gone overlooked by college coaches?
Max Buduris – First guy that comes to mind. He’s so overlooked it’s starting to go from comical to angered in my eyes. The kids stepped up with me in ways we really needed, he’s an absolute work horse and is honestly the best receiver in the conference. He works harder then anyone I’ve ever seen. For the people who don’t believe me, watch come next season.
Colin Schuster – Schuster is the next guy that comes into mind. He’s a DB that had some varsity time last year and again is stepping up for the team in positive ways.
Tyler Haase – Last guy that comes to mind. He is a linebacker who I feel like can play at the next level. He’s big and strong and very well intelligent about the game!