Pritchard Follows His Family

His mom and dad attended school at Ohio University. His brother is a freshman on the baseball team at Ball State University. Another family member went to school at Bowling Green State University. So, Austin Pritchard made his decision last weekend to follow in the footsteps of his family and verbally committed to Western Michigan University.

Due to a convention Austin was unable to attend "Blackout Saturday" but was in Kalamazoo on Thursday, Friday and Saturday morning. "I loved it there," Austin said. "The facilities are really nice and it's all state of the art."

Austin was being recruited by others schools including Stanford, Navy, Buffalo, West Virginia, Vanderbilt, Iowa, Northwestern, Lehigh and New Hampshire. According to Austin and his father Dave he has reached the end of the recruiting trail with his decision to attend Western Michigan University. "It was stressful," Dave said about the recruiting process. "But there are some facets that are fun." Those facets Dave was talking about included being able to attend football games on Saturday's with his son.

Austin was scheduled to go on a visit to Stanford but upon committing to the Broncos he has cancelled the visit scheduled for next weekend.

Although Dave and his wife sat down with Austin to go over everything it was Austin's decision. "We had discussions with him," Dave said. "But ultimately it's Austin's decision and as long as he's happy we're happy."

Austin and his father attended summer camps at Stanford University where current Western Michigan University head coach Bill Cubit was starting his first and last season as the offensive coordinator for the Cardinal. At that time Austin received a conditional offer depending on academic admissions. Because of the delay and the dismissal of the Cardinal coaching staff and the fact that Coach Cubit has since ended up at Western Michigan University the Broncos were able to get Austin to come for a visit.

Austin left with a pretty good impression of Kalamazoo and Western Michigan University. "Kalamazoo supports Western Michigan University football," said Austin. "It (WMU) is a pretty big school and it has a good engineering school." Dad is already keeping track of the weather in Kalamazoo from his home in Lebanon, Ohio. Dave made note that in the last twenty-four hours there was about a 5-10 degree difference in temperature.

Austin stands at 6'3 ½" and 212 pounds has a recorded 4.7 flat time in the 40 and scored a 25 on the ACT and currently holds a 3.6 G.P.A. at Lebanon High School. He was recruited mainly as a linebacker but expects to see some time as a tight end. In high school he played on both defense and offense. On defense he played inside linebacker, outside linebacker, cornerback and safety where he led the Warriors in tackles this past season with 90 tackles. On offense he saw playing time mainly as a tight end and a wide receiver. He caught 26 passes for 507 yards and 9 touchdowns. His efforts in 2004 earned him First Team All Conference honors.

During his visit last week Austin had a chance to talk to almost all of the Broncos coaches. "They did a real nice job of interacting," he said. "After the first day I felt it just fit me."

Austin's older brother Tyler is currently a freshman at Ball State University. Tyler is getting ready for his first season on the Cardinals baseball team. So mom and dad will be wearing red and white in the spring and brown and gold in the fall.

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