Lost a bit in the bustle of National Signing Day was the fact many 2018 prospects received offers that day. While 2017 recruits had their big day to shine, it also provided some excitement for seniors-to-be.
One prospect who received some unexpected, yet exciting news February 1 was Parker (Colo.) Legend jumbo athlete Tate Wildeman, a 6-foot-6, 230-pounder who blossomed at defensive end as a junior. Wildeman received a Colorado State offer from Rams head coach Mike Bobo, his first scholarship offer.
Wildeman had been to CSU for two home games last fall, but he didn't expect to receive an offer so soon.
"It was great. Once I got the call from Coach Bobo, I was very excited, just knowing that they had a bunch of confidence in me and they actually wanted me to play for them," Wildeman said. "It's just cool being very close to home. They saw me play against Highlands Ranch during football season - that's when they first started recruiting me. It hasn't been long, but I'm just very overwhelmed, very excited."
Arkansas, Colorado, Iowa, Miami (OH), Nebraska, North Dakota, UCLA, UConn, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming are also showing varying levels of interest in Wildeman. Of those schools, Wildeman feels either CU or Nebraska could be next in line to offer.
It's very early on in the recruiting process for Wildeman, but the CSU offer has certainly caught his attention.
"Colorado State, since it's obviously my first offer, I'm very flattered, honestly. They're the first to buy into me and first to see the potential that I have. So it's a very nice thing to have."
CSU hasn't told Wildeman whether they'd like him on the offensive or defensive side of the ball. An honorable mention all-state selection at defensive end in 2016, Wildeman expressed the idea he could play defensive end or tight end (he caught three touchdowns in four offensive plays last year). He also believes he could bulk up and play offensive tackle or even defensive tackle down the road.
"He said he really liked my film, especially my hands and my length," Wildeman said of Bobo. "He thinks I could be anything."
Wildeman earned defensive lineman of the year for Legend as a sophomore. As a junior, he was honored as first team all-conference, honorable mention all-state, academic all-state, and Six Zero Strength All-Colorado. He recorded 40 solo tackles and 7 sacks as a defensive end, plus three receiving touchdowns as a tight end.
Wildeman has plans to visit CSU this offseason. The offer not only gives him something to chew on now, but Wildeman will continue to give the Rams serious thought throughout the whole recruiting process.
"I'm definitely going to keep them in mind the whole recruiting process. They're my first (offer), and I can't wait to get up there and see the new stadium, see what's going on up there. I haven't really met any of their coaches, so I can't wait to get up there and meet all of them and see what it's all about."
CSU offered his defensive teammate, safety Chad Muma, last offseason. Wildeman and Muma are buddies and have at least joked about the possibility of being a package deal.
Could it be a real possibility?
"We've kind of joked about it, how if me and him roomed together, we could be a Legend package and that'd be all they need as a one-stop shop," Wildeman said. "I think we're just joking about it, but I mean, I could see myself playing with him. He's a great guy, fun to play with. He brings a lot of energy. He's a great guy and good player.