Charlotte Tight End a Big Catch for CMU

The Central Michigan University football program is quite familiar with Charlotte (Mich.) High School. It was little more than a decade ago that CMU tapped that school for offensive lineman Brock Gutierrez, who now plays for the NFL's San Francisco 49ers. The Chippewas have returned to Charlotte to secure a verbal commitment from perhaps the finest tight end in Michigan's 2005 class.

Charlotte High School head football coach Eddie Ostipow is very familiar with Central Michigan's spread offense. He should be, it's a carbon copy of the one his Orioles have run so successfully in recent years.

Ostipow said one of the keys to his offense and the reason Charlotte (10-2) won its first district title in school history last season was because of the play of tight end Allen Ollenburger.

"He's quite a unique athlete, very athletic," Ostipow said. "Allen has great speed for a big guy. He's just a physical specimen and a dominant blocker."

Last season, the 6-foot-4 Ollenburger caught 20 passes for an average of 17-yards per catch and three touchdowns. The Orioles lost in the Division 3 regional finals to Stevenville-Lakeshore and its three future Chippewas, Andrew Hartline, Adam Benke and Chris Wohlgamuth.

Ollenburger attended a one-day camp at CMU June 13 and soon afterward said he received a scholarship offer, one that he accepted June 30.

"I chose CMU because the coaching staff and the facilities are great," Ollenburger said. "It's the same offense we run and I like that because I get to catch the ball and block."

"I'm very happy for Allen, he's going to be a good one for CMU," Ostipow added. "I have great respect for (CMU head coach) Brian (Kelly) and his program, I know he's going to turn it around."

Ostipow said the University of Michigan was also very high on Ollenburger and that Western Michigan coaches told him they planned to offer a scholarship to Ollenburger.

"CMU offered me first," Ollenburger said. "I told them I wanted to wait and see if Michigan was going to offer after their camp.

"When I called (CMU assistant) coach (Mike) Elston to tell him I was committing he was pretty excited," Ollenburger added. "He told me I was one of their top recruits for this year."

Among the intangibles Ollenburger said he brings to the field is leadership. He's somebody "you can count on in the clutch."

Ollenburger is also a leader in the classroom who carries a 3.9 GPA. He said he'd like to study Drafting at CMU.

He will be reunited next season at CMU with two of his Charlotte teammates. All-State placekicker Ronnie Budd and long snapper Joe Carrick are preferred walk-ons in the Chippewas 2004 recruiting class.

It's quite apparent a talent pipeline from Charlotte to CMU that was tapped more than a decade ago with All-Mid-American Conference offensive lineman Brock Gutierrez, is now flowing smoothly again.

"We love Brock here in Charlotte and we're all real proud of his accomplishments," Ostipow said. "No question, we have quite a Chippewa influence here and I know Allen is going to be a nice addition to CMU too."

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