Cam Wilson has been thinking about which college to attend since last May, and is happy that it is finally over after he and four of his Columbus East teammates signed their letters of intent Wednesday on National Signing Day.
The Olympians wide receiver and defensive back began his process with Illinois State then decided to go to Air Force. But after realizing he would have to travel over 20 hours away, he left Air Force to pursue a chance at walking on at Indiana University.
Wilson had talked to the offensive coordinators at IU multiple times, but did not have the relationship with the IU coaches like he and his family did with Illinois State. So chose to sign with the Redbirds and study finance and business administration.
“I should have never left a school that cared about me so much,” Wilson said. “We’ve built relationships that I haven’t built with any other coach this entire process, and I’ve talked to a lot of coaches. It just really felt like home when I visited the school and how they treated me.”
Like Wilson, lineman Harry Crider also signed with IU after decommitting from another school. He orginally had committed to Virginia, but will stay close to home and study business or biology.
Crider said IU, a school that two of his older siblings have attended, runs in his family. He is excited about being able to play football in front of his home state and said he knew IU was the right fit for him once he stepped on campus to meet with the coaches. He said he loves the people there, which was a big factor for him considering the fact that he will be spending the next for years of his life with them.
“It’s a dream come true,” Crider said. “As a little kid, you dream of these king of things, and being able to sign that paper, it’s official. It makes me speechless, but it’s just a start of another journey. There is a lot of work to be done from here, and I’m just ready to get started.”
All five players were concerned with more that just football when making their decisions. They all wanted to go to an institution that would allow them to thrive academically, as well.
Once Jared Clark realized that Hillsdale College was considered the No. 1 academic school in Division-ll football, he knew that was where he wanted to go. The offensive lineman is looking to study biology on the premed track and said the rigorous academic schedule that Hillsdale provides will help him get to where he wants to be in life.
“When I took my visit up there and started hanging out with the coaches and players, and being on campus I just really enjoyed it,” Clark said.
The future business major in safety Wade Forman had no geographic preferences before he realized he would like to come home on the weekends, so choosing the University of Indianapolis was a perfect fit for him. Forman said he liked the fact that the UIndy coaching staff knows how to win games, and competing for a championship with his family in the stands was a major factor on top of the school’s business program.
“A lot of people say it’s not a four-year degree; it’s a 40-year degree,” Forman said. “So just thinking about that and what the UIndy business school offers, it’s a lot more highly rated than any of the other schools that were talking to me.”
East leading receiver Caleb Voelker wanted to attend a college aligned with his spiritual faith and said Marian University was a good Catholic school where he felt he could fit in athletically and socially.
Voelker has been working toward signing a letter of intent since he first started football in the first grade and said it’s a blessing to finally reach that goal. He will be looking to major in business administration.
“I talk to a lot of coaches and talked to my family,” Voelker said. “It became very apparent that Marian was the place that would make me the most successful on the field and off the field.”