Ready for Clearance

After suffering a torn ACL at the end of his sophomore basketball season, Waukesha (Wis) West tight end Dylan Chmura is almost 100 percent healthy and taking some visits, including a trip to Wisconsin for the Penn State game.

MADISON - One of the key components in Waukesha West run to a WIAA Division 1 state championship in 2010, tight end Dylan Chmura was anxious to improve his resume and his recruiting stock.

Catching a team-best two catches for 22 yards and a touchdown in the 45-26 victory over Stevens Point (West only threw five times), Chmura was poised to have a big summer in the weight room to prepare for his junior season.

Unfortunately for him, one bad rebound on the basketball court has caused him to have a long rebound back to the football field.

Playing in the Al McGuire Center against Germantown in March, Chmura got his legs taken out on a freak play, snapped his Ieg and tore his ACL.

"It was just one of those things," Chmura told Badger Nation Sunday. "I was in the wrong place at the wrong time."

That chapter is finally coming to a close for Chmura, son of former Green Bay Packers tight end Mark Chmura. After reconstruction surgery in April, Chmura expects to be 100 percent cleared by the beginning of December. Chmura admits it will be an exciting bit of news, especially after he was stuck on the sideline with a headset on.

"My coach gave me a player-coach role so I could see things on the field that I normally couldn't see during the game," Chmura said. "My dad, when he was my coach last year for tight ends, he helped me out at halftime. I liked being able to answer questions for my teammates on the field and have a role on the team with the tight ends and in the passing game. That helped me get through it."

One of the few advantages to being out for the season was Chmura had the ability to take plenty of unofficial visits. During the fall, Chmura visited Wisconsin, Western Michigan, Michigan State, Northwestern, Iowa and Notre Dame.

"There are different things about all of them," Chmura said. "They are in different settings. Some are in the countryside or right in the middle of downtown. Every place has a different perspective and they all have their different perks with the weight room and the turf and the fan support."

One of the places where fan support was at its peak was at Wisconsin. After visiting for the Oregon State game, Chmura got a whole different vibe on his visit for the Penn State game.

"You could tell there was a different type of competiveness that comes along with playing a Big Ten rival," Chmura said. "You could really see that Wisconsin was wanted the game more, which is why they won 45-7. You could tell the difference between the games playing a struggling Pac-12 team and a Big Ten team with one loss. It was nice to see the players respond to that.

"The visit was pretty fun. They have a great fan base there. You could tell it was a big game because everybody was jumping around."

Even though Chmura didn't play any football this past prep season, he said a lot of colleges, including Wisconsin, continue to keep taps on him and monitor his progress. For the Badgers, who already have a 2013 verbal commit at tight end in Pennsylvania' Scott Ordnoff, Chmura is still on the radar of offensive line coach Bob Bostad and tight end coach Joe Rudolph, who invited Chmura back to the team's Junior Day in February.

"Most of the colleges said that they basically forget about the knee injury, although I am sure it's in the back of their minds," Chmura said. "A lot of coaches say that you are starting fresh, so it's time to show us show. The UW coaches invited me back to one of their high school camps in June. They want me to keep coming back."

Chmura says every team recruiting him is on an open playing field and that he doesn't favor Wisconsin any more or less than another school. Skipping basketball and track this season, Chmura is going to go back to work to get ready for his senior season.

"I am going to be busting my butt to get my strength back to normal," Chmura said. "I am going to start running and getting back into playing shape."

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