A Saturday visit from Rutgers assistant coach Vince Okruch changed official visit plans for Springfield (Mo.) Kickapoo tight end Travis Vokolek.
Vokolek changed his weekend visit from Minnesota to Rutgers, where he will spend a truncated Saturday and Sunday on campus because of team and family obligations.
“We talked about everything,” Vokolek said. “I'm coming up on my visit this weekend, and I'm extremely excited about that. He just talked to me about how he sees me fitting into the program and how I could be a big play-maker for them.”
Rutgers did not sign a scholarship tight end in the 2016 class and lost two experienced bodies at the position in December.
“Coach Okruch sees me as a guy who's not going to sit there and block the whole day,” Vokolek said. “He sees me as a guy who can catch balls and make some moves in space. I'm a guy who can block and can, as well, go out and make catches and make people miss.”
Okruch watched Vokolek in action during a national basketball tournament. Vokolek chose basketball over an official visit weekend, and will not be at Rutgers Friday night for the same reasons.
“We definitely competed with guys who are going to play in the NBA for two years,” he said. “It was pretty awesome. It was worth it.”
Vokolek's father has 30 years of coaching experience. Most recently a defensive backs coach with Buffalo, he built a relationship with head coach Chris Ash.
“I don't know where it all started but he has a really good relationship with my dad,” Vokolek said. “They've talked on the phone a couple of times. He really likes him.”
The son of a coach, Vokolek is aware of the fast pace in the weeks before National Signing Day. Speaking Monday morning, a Jan. 27 visit to Wyoming is his only other visit. Wake Forest is among the new schools with expressed interest.
Vokolek is open to mid-week visits with four more available after Rutgers, he said.