First Offer in for Long Island Lineman

Long Island 2017 defensive lineman Ethan Wiederkehr picked up his first scholarship offer last week when he camped at Rutgers for its Big Man Academy.

Shoreham (N.Y.) Shoreham-Wading River defensive lineman Ethan Wiederkehr is up nearly 70 pounds from last season’s playing weight and Rutgers noticed first.

The 2017 prospect from Long Island bulked up to 6-foot-5, 260 pounds in the offseason, and his new frame earned a verbal scholarship offer from Rutgers.

“It was obviously an exciting experience, but I’d say I’m just honored to receive the opportunity of my first scholarship offer,” Wiederkehr said on his camp offer. “I’ve been in the weight room training a lot for exactly this opportunity. I want to go to college for free and take some of that pressure off of my parents and give back to them. My dad might be even more excited than I am. It’s just such a great feeling.”

Rutgers has plenty of Long Island connections built into its program, including graduate assistant Scott Vallone, quarterback Chris Laviano and offensive lineman Tariq Cole.

“It’s a terrific program. Being from Long Island, it’s kind of right there. I think the coaching staff is great. They’re a great football team being in the Big Ten and getting better.

Wiederkehr was one of two defensive linemen offered during last week’s Big Man Academy, and he hopes to be back in August for training camp.

“I liked the coaches because they seemed enthusiastic,” he said. “They seemed like they were the kind of coaching staff that knew what it was talking about. I felt it was a good camp overall. It was very competitive.”

Wiederkehr has cams planned to Maryland and Wake Forest this month. Following his offseason growth spurt, colleges across the east coast took notice.

“I think I have a real quickness off the ball with my feet,” Wiederkehr said. “I’m able to use that to get by offensive linemen with my quickness and moves. When you look at my film, I look skinny, but I’ve bulked up a lot since then and kept my quick feet.”

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