Player Primer: Jon Rhattigan
Neuqua Valley’s 2017 MLB Jon Rhattigan has has multiple FBS offers and FCS offers could a commitment be coming soon? We talked his work this offseason to improve his game, schools he’s been in touch with and what’s next for his recruiting.
You can find Jon on Twitter @JRhatt5.
Wt: 220 lbs
Commitment status: Undecided
LPI: You guys finished the season very well at 8-2, but lost to a very good Glenbard West team in the playoffs. Now that your season is over, what are you going to do to take your game to the next level?
JR: After giving my body a rest since the end of the season, this past week I started slowly getting myself back into lifting. I’ve taken great care of my body by rolling out and stretching just about every other day since the end of the season so I feel as though I’m coming back at a perfect time to get bigger, faster, and stronger. To take my game to the next level I plan on taking my workouts and focus to the next level. From this point on I will be working out 6 days a week working on everything I need to be prepared for college football. Lifting upper body, legs, and doing speed and agility work is my main focus.
LPI: You’re sitting on offers from FBS Ball State, New Mexico, and Army FCS Princeton and Dartmouth to name a few. What are your greatest strengths or what can you bring to the table for a college football program?
JR: I think my two biggest strengths would be my instinct and physicality. Both of these qualities are something programs look for in a linebacker and are usually something that takes more time to develop but I feel confident with where I’m at and I only intend on both of these strengths to become stronger. Another thing I would bring to the table is leadership because I try my best to build a strong and focused energy that my teammates and coaches can build off of.
LPI: On or off the field, how do you demonstrate leadership?
JR: I find leadership to have a big impact on the success of a team so on the field I try to be a leader by setting a good example of hard work and dedication that my teammates can build off of so that we all become better and more focused towards a common goal. Off the field I demonstrate leadership by being a positive role model to younger kids in the community and being an approachable student athlete other student athletes can look upon if they have any questions or anything in general.
LPI: Besides the schools that have offered you, which schools have you kept in contact with the most? Or which schools have shown interest in you?
JR: Harvard, Navy and Bowling Green have all kept in contact and really shown a good amount of interest. Aside from those four I have also received slight interest from Iowa State, Indiana, and Louisiana.
LPI: Where have you visited most recently and do you have any planned visits coming up?
JR: I visited Princeton November 19th for their game vs Dartmouth and I am taking my official there this upcoming weekend (December 3). I am visiting Ball State the weekend after that (December 10) for another official. Other than those two officials I plan on taking the rest throughout January.
LPI: You guys have a ton of recruits on your team. Who are some of your teammates that you believe have a chance to play at the next level, but may be getting overlooked by college coaches?
JR: There is no doubt we had a lot of talent. Aside from Owen Piche (Navy) and Isaiah Robertson (Notre Dame), I think Tommy Ciesla, Jake Zeiler, Donny Navarro, Anthony Ippolito, JaQuere Williams, and Jackson Keating could all play at the next level.
Tommy Ciesla and Jackson Keating were both huge playmakers on the D-line. Tommy Ciesla is really strong with great hands that allowed him to get by any O-Lineman he went up against. Jackson Keating has great instinct he uses to get to the ball and just flat out makes plays. Jake Zeiler is a big, strong, consistent component of our O-line that really helped us move the ball on the ground. Donny Navarro ran the best routes, has great hands, and is an extremely hard worker. JaQuere played solid all year and did a great job in man coverage against some of the best receivers in the state. It was awesome having Anthony Ippolito next to me because he does his job and then some and he has that knack for the football which leads to him making big plays. I am thankful to have played with all of these guys and I know they will work hard to prove themselves at the next level.