Joraskie high on Northwestern

Mount Carmel (PA) defensive end Eric Joraskie has his sights set on choosing a school with strong academics, not just for success on the field. Joraskie has held Northwestern in high regards, even prior to receiving a scholarship offer.

When he was in 8th grade, Eric Joraskie and his mom had an important conversation about his future in college football. He emphasized that, wherever he chose to play, the decision wouldn't be based solely on football. Driven by a desire to excel both on and off the field, Joraskie has always admired schools with both high academic standards and a successful track record on the gridiron.

"I always said that if I was ever going to play division one football, it was going to be at a school like that," Joraskie said. "It needs to have good academics, but a good football team, too."

The 2013 Mount Carmel (PA) defensive end has received offers from two schools befitting of his ideal academic-football profile: Vanderbilt and Northwestern.

Superbacks coach Bob Heffner and defensive line coach Marty Long contacted Joraskie more than two months ago, then followed up with a visit to his high school. Soon after, the junior received a call from coach Fitzgerald, a call that translated his nebulous, ambitious middle school dream into reality. It was on offer that—should he choose to accept it—secured Joraskie's longheld desire to play football at an insitution with renowned academic stature, capable of competing with the nation's top programs.

"I was real excited when I got that offer," he said. "It's funny, because it was exactly what my mom and I talked about a long time ago."

After receiving an offer from NU, his fourth overall, Joraskie's recruitment has heated up significantly. In the past two months, he's received over five offers, including Maryland, Vanderbilt and Boston College. He attributes the increase in interest and contacts to a change he made in reaching out to coaches, one that points to the importance of the internet and social media in the current recruiting landscape.

Joraskie uploaded his game tape to YouTube, which is when coaches en masse—impressed with his size, speed and incessant pass-rushing motor—began texting, calling and facebook messaging him more than ever before. As coaches continue watching his eye-popping speed-rushing prowess on Youtube, there's no telling how many more offers he will receive before he makes his decision.

"It was definitely a big help," he said. "Coaches were able to see me, and they started talking about me. That's when it seemed like things started to really pick up."

Coach Fitzgerald has remained in contact with Joraskie in recent weeks and has scheduled a campus visit for June 17th-18th. While he's yet to compile a list of favorites, Joraskie said that he's always held NU in high regard, and is excited for the visit.

"It definitely has what I look for in a school," he said. "The great academics, and I can tell coach Fitzgerald has things going in the right direction. I've held it [Northwestern] on a pretty high pedestal since I got the offer, so I'm excited to go out there and see what it's all about."

Purple Wildcats Top Stories