Parker (Colo.) Legend 2018 defensive end Tate Wildeman has seen his recruitment heat up in a big way of late. The 6-foot-6, 230-pounder picked up an Arizona State offer during an ASU Junior Day on March 18, then picked up his second Power Five offer from Oklahoma State the day he was in Fort Collins for a Colorado State Junior Day.
Needless to say, the recruiting process has become a whirlwind for Wildeman, who picked up his first offer from CSU on signing day.
"It's incredible. It's always been a dream of mine to play Power Five football," Wildeman said. "I'm just speechless at this point. I'm trying not to think about it too much. I've still got a lot of goals to set for speed and strength wise for myself. I'm just kind of letting them come to me, but I've just gotta keep getting better myself."
Wildeman's trip to CSU was his first, even though the school rests just an hour and a half north of his home. Rams defensive coordinator Marty English has headed up Wildeman's recruitment, but the Junior Day enabled Wildeman to meet the rest of the CSU staff for the first time.
"Coaches treated me very good, with great respect," Wildeman said. "We got to watch one of their practices and it was the first time they were in full pads. I liked the intensity and tempo that they were playing at. I saw all the facilities and pretty much met all the coaches for the first time. I mean, I knew (Marty) English, but that was about it.
"It was a lot better than I expected. It's a nice town and a nice place to live. I liked the facilities, too."
Among the highlights of his campus tour was CSU's new on-campus stadium.
"It's going to be great. It's so nice already," he said. "They're about three months out from finishing it, I believe. It just looks great already and it's going to be a very nice place to play."
The big athlete earned honorable mention All-Colorado honors and academic all-state after a junior campaign in which he collected 7 sacks and 40 tackles as a defensive end and 3 receiving touchdowns in a limited tight end role. CSU hasn't specifically mentioned which side of the ball he would play, but the expectation is for him to play on the defensive line in college.
Saturday's experience was focused more on him getting to know the coaches, and visa versa.
"I talked to (Head) Coach (Mike) Bobo and we talked about my family, where they're from and how everything's going. I came up there with (teammate) Chad (Muma), actually, so he was just kind of getting to know me. They just treated me and Chad with a lot of respect. They made us a main priority, which is nice."
The Scout 3-star has no recruiting favorites and he is simply taking his time with the process. His goal is to announce a commitment early to mid summer, but depending on how his recruitment shakes out, he is not opposed to waiting until after the season to begin taking his official visits to narrow things down.
More visits could be on the itinerary this spring, but his trips to ASU and CSU have set the bar high.
"Tempe was great," Wildeman said of ASU. "Coaches were great, weather was great. They're building new facilities out there, which is awesome. I really liked that visit. We were out there for a few days."
With offers rolling in, what does he think of the Rams?
"It's my only in-state offer. It's very nice and the coaches really want me bad, which is nice. That's very nice to have. I could see myself playing there and on the field there. I like it, I just don't know what's to come. I feel like it would be pretty cool to represent myself with the state of Colorado. I'm just kind of taking my time through this thing."