AFAFalcons: What were some of the programs that were recruiting you?
Travis Wittick: USD, Yale, Harvard, Cornell, and Dartmouth. I took
official visits to Air Force,Yale, and Dartmouth, and I decided after
the Dartmouth visit to attend Air Force. I cancelled potential visits to
Cornell, Harvard, and USD after I made my mind up on being a Falcon.
AFAFalcons: What programs had offered you a scholarship?
Travis Wittick: Because the schools recruiting me besides Air Force
were Div. I-AA schools, they could not (by NCAA rules) offer me athletic
scholarships to attend. USD did offer an academic scholarship, and the
Ivy League schools offered a good amount of need-based financial aid, but no merit-based grants.
AFAFalcons: What are some of the reasons you chose Air Force?
Travis Wittick: There are a great amount of reasons. First, the education
is second to none. But the factors that separate the Academy from all
the other institutions in the world are the character building, leadership
training, military discipline, and rigorous schedule that they put you
through. All of these will forever benefit me for the rest of my life. I
will have military advantages that many won't ever get to have. I will
be confident that I can overcome obstacles that I thought I could not
handle because the Academy built discipline in me. I will get the opportunity to serve my country for five years and potentially see a different part of the world. Other important factors include playing Div. I football and a free education, and probably a free graduate school.
AFAFalcons: What coach recruited you for Air Force?
Travis Wittick: Vic Shealy, the defensive backs coach. It was convenient
to be recruited by my eventual position coach because I already know
very well who my coach is for the next four years.
AFAFalcons: What are some of the things the Air Force staff told you regarding your future role on the team?
Travis Wittick: Because of their 3-3-5 defensive scheme (3 D-linemen,
3 linebackers, and 5 DB's), the chances of getting on the field as a DB
are encouraging. For now, they look at me as a Falcon back, which is their nickel back/ strong safety position, of which there are two on the
field at the same time. The only promises they made were that they would work me hard and make me a better football player. I look forward to competing at the next level.
AFAFalcons: Please describe for us your greatest day as an individual football player while playing at the high school level.
Travis Wittick: Probably the most rewarding day for me in my football
career was a game against Trabuco Hills my junior year. I waited for
an opportunity the whole year to prove to the coaches that I could
compete, and I earned player of the game against my former team.
AFAFalcons: Your high school won 28 straight games over you last two years. Tell us what that was like?
Travis Wittick: I learned so much about how to be a winner. The
coaches at Mission Viejo are unbelievably knowledgeable and dedicated. The players feed off of their energy and compete hard. The off-season lifting program is well run and the improvement from year to year is amazing. Many of my teammates made unbelievable improvements in strength and overall athleticism; as a result, players who need to fill the shoes of graduating seniors are successful because of hard work in the off-season.
AFAFalcons: Will you play next season at the Academy or will you attend the prep school?
Travis Wittick: Fortunately, I earned good enough grades in high
school to directly attend the Academy this fall.
AFAFalcons: Travis, we appreciate your time and wish you the best of luck in your Air Force career.
Travis Wittick: Thanks again.