Van Dort Learning the Craft

Zeeland West (Mich.) High doesn't really attack teams through the air, so junior tight end Jordan Van Dort spent the summer working on his pass blocking skills; a trait he hopes will turn some of early interest into offers.

MADISON - Tight ends are essential for what Wisconsin tries to do each year in its offense. Not only do the tight ends have to be able to go out and catch the ball, they have to be excellent blockers. That type of gritty and hard-nose player is tough to find, but Wisconsin might have found one in Zeeland West (Mich.) HS junior Jordan Van Dort.

This 6-5, 280-pound junior tight end fits the mold and made an impact right off the bat of his season as well as making it around to multiple stops this summer.

"It was very busy between school football and going to camps," Van Dort told Badger Nation. "I only had the chance to go to the Michigan and Michigan State camps because I was really busy with my school football stuff, but those camps went really great."

Coming from a Wing T offense, Van Dort admitted that he never knew the finer points or pass or zone blocking, especially with Zeeland West being a run-dominated team. Although his team started off the season on the wrong foot, Van Dort is hoping to parlay what he learned in Michigan to have a solid season.

"We had a tough loss," Van Dort said. "Our first game was back and forth the entire game. I actually had a fever of 102 degrees, so I didn't play a lot of defense, but I felt I played pretty good. We lost 59-58 and I had two catches plus a touchdown."

Although still searching for his first offer, Van Dort, in addition to the recruiting visits to Michigan and Michigan State, has gotten BCS interest from Missouri, Ohio State, Penn State and Wisconsin. While the Badgers and Van Dort are earlier in their communication, there is still interest.

"They haven't spoken directly to me," said Van Dort of the Badgers. "They wanted me to come on a visit last year, but we were in the state championship game. I really like them as a program and I just like how every year, it seems that they have a great offensive line. I would also like to visit them, too."

With two years of high school football left, Van Dort's future visit plans are still very much up in the air.

"I am just really keeping my options open and I am wide open on all the schools," he said.

While Van Dort might be wide open to everybody at this point, the team that he cherished watching growing up was and still is the Michigan Wolverines.

"Michigan has always been my favorite team and still is," he said. "Mostly because ever since I was little my mom has taken me to about 4 games a year."

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