Overgaard Schedules NC State Visit

It's been a long journey for Mikel Overgaard but in a few weeks his dream of signing a letter of intent to play at a Division I school will come true.

It's been a long journey for Mikel Overgaard but in a few weeks his dream of signing a letter of intent to play at a Division I school will come true.

"To be honest, when I was in high school I pretty much knew that I wouldn't sign a Division I scholarship after graduating," said Overgaard. "I went to a really small school in Idaho and we didn't play good competition... it's not the same as if I grew up in California or Florida.

"I stayed in contact with a couple of colleges and had some offers from small schools, but there wasn't anyway a high-major school would offer me with the competition level I faced. Because of that, I decided to be a preferred walk-on at Washington State."

Hailing from Weisner, Idaho, a small town with a population of just over 5,000, Overgaard enrolled at Washington State as a preferred walk-on in 2007 and redshirted for the Cougars. However, he didn't stay long as he felt that he would have a better chance to play and possibly end up on scholarship at a Division I program if he elected to leave Washington State.

"I liked it at Washington State, but leaving was the best option for me," Overgaard stated. "Because I was a walk-on I really didn't lose anything by leaving. I was paying to go to school there and figured it wouldn't hurt me to leave.

"I also wanted to get on the field as soon as I could so Snow College was a good move for me. Rather than transferring and sitting out a year I figured I should transfer down to junior college and gain experience. I didn't know I would be switching positions though, but it ended up being the best thing for me."

Checking in at 6-foot-6 and 230 pounds, Overgaard suited up as a tight end at Washington State and thought that would be where he'd remain at Snow College. After playing in 2008, the coaches liked Overgaard's footwork, frame, and ability to block so much that they felt it would be best for him and the program if he added weight and moved to the offensive line for the 2009 season.

"I switched from tight end to left tackle because the coaches asked me to and it was a need for our team," said Overgaard.

"I put on some weight during spring ball and then worked out all summer. I got up to 270 pounds before the start of the season and that was when I officially made the change from tight end to tackle."

What does Overgaard think of the position change?

"I was planning on staying at tight end, but it was a good move for me to switch positions because it has led to me landing Division I scholarship offers," he said. "It was a great move for me... I like it. It's not that I feel out of place at all because it's an ideal fit for me.

"It also helped me with recruiting. College interest picked up because I played well. I think the offensive line is somewhere that my best years in football are ahead of me."

Snow College finished the 2009 season 9-2 and ranked in the top 10 nationally by NJCAA. Overgaard started every game at left tackle and was named first-team All-State this week.

What does his recruitment currently look like?

"I've got offers right now from North Carolina State, New Mexico, Southern Utah, and Southern Illinois," said Overgaard. "I've also been in contact with a bunch of other schools, but those are the ones that have offered me.

"They said they can work with the size but can't teach guys great footwork."

"I've already taken an official visit to New Mexico, and I'm taking one this weekend to North Carolina State... I leave for that one on Friday. I had a really good time at New Mexico. I liked the area, and I like the school a lot."

"College coaches have mentioned that I have great footwork, and I know how to use leverage really well," Overgaard added. "I'm not very big for an offensive lineman, but the coaches said they can work on that in the spring. I do a really good job of blocking and use leverage great. They said they can work with the size but can't teach guys great footwork."

NC State recently became involved through a contact established a few years back. Wolfpack recruiting coordinator Jerry Petercuskie recruits Snow College athletes for NC State, and he is familiar with the coaching staff after landing former Snow College quarterback Paul Peterson in 2003.

"Coach 'Cuskie is recruiting me for NC State," said Overgaard. "They offered me I think around three weeks ago, and I've been talking to them for a while.

"My head coach had a connection with their coaching staff when they were at Boston College. They recruited a quarterback out of Snow, and my coach told them about me. They requested film and after watching it we talked some more and they offered."

A fan of college football, Overgaard admits that he has followed NC State's coaching staff since their days at Boston College.

"I know when they were at Boston College they won a lot of games," he said. "I don't know a ton about NC State so that is why the visit is important.

"The coaching staff does a great job with offensive linemen though. They said if one of my goals was to get to the next level then they've got the knowledge and experience to help get me there... to help me make that jump."

Overgaard will graduate from Snow College in a couple of weeks with his degree and projects as a full qualifier carrying a 3.8 GPA. Mid-year junior college enrollees can't ink letters of intent until mid-December and Overgaard is in no hurry to make a decision.

"I can't name a favorite one way or another right now because I haven't visited all the schools," he said. "I'm going to North Carolina State and I think I go to Southern Illinois on December 12th.

"I'm still keeping all my options open. I'm going to wait and see what all of my options are before committing to a school. I'll wait until Signing Day because I want to know what all of the options are."

Overgaard will have two years to play two seasons at the college he inks with in December.


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