Mount Carmel (Ill.) long snapper Steven Wirtel is still processing his options, but his recent Iowa State visit has him pausing to take a closer look.
Regarded as the No. 6 long snapper in 2016 by Kohl’s Kicking, Wirtel has had January visits planned to Iowa State, Illinois and Georgia. Following the first of those visits with his weekend trip to Ames, Wirtel appears to be reevaluating.
“Within the next couple of days we’re going to sit down with my family and definitely talk this weekend over, because it was a great weekend for me and I loved everything they said,” Wirtel said of Iowa State and where things stand. “So we’re going to sit down and talk it over and we’re going to go from there.”
Wirtel, who has been offered a full-ride scholarship by Iowa State, has been scheduled to visit Illinois this weekend (Jan. 22-24) and Georgia (Jan. 29-31) the final weekend before Signing Day. Illinois wants Wirtel to grayshirt while Georgia wants him to compete for a spot and earn a scholarship next fall.
Iowa State’s plan is more clear-cut.
“They said the plan is I have a full-ride,” Wirtel said of the message. “The plan would be for me to come in right away and be their guy and that’s what they’re counting on.”
Auburn and Kansas, where his brother will be the Jayhawks’ long snapper in 2016 as a senior, have both expressed interest but neither would offer an immediate scholarship.
That full-ride offer from Iowa State and a chance to contribute immediately as a true freshman are both enticing factors for Wirtel. The Cyclones won’t return long snapper Jake Rhoads or his backup Tanner Tusha in 2016 and want Wirtel to jump in as the program’s long snapper on Day 1.
“It shows me definitely the trust they have in me and I love that,” Wirtel said. “I’m going to go out there and I’m going to give them all that I’ve got and it makes me happy just to know that I’m going to go in right away and play because that’s ultimately what I want to do. I’m going to bring them a whole new level of a long snapper and I’m going to be a guy who snaps the ball and gets down field and I’m going to make plays for them.”
Writel was set to be visited by assistant Alex Golesh on Monday in Chicago and Illinois and Georgia have expressed interest in visits this week.
What the next step will be remains uncertain, but as Wirtel processes his visit and next steps, he’s currently thinking highly of Iowa State.
“Iowa State said all the right things and I was very impressed,” Wirtel said.