Although the end goal was earning a scholarship from the University of Wisconsin, Wausau West linebacker Jake Whalen came to the Badgers one-day high school summer camp with his own personal goal in mind: improve his testing numbers.
It was an entirely different mindset and approach than what Whalen did a year ago, when he only camped at Wisconsin and did so because a friend of his was going and he felt he could get some good work in before the start of the season.
"I needed a drastic increase (with my numbers) because last year I wasn't doing anything besides running track," Whalen told BadgerNation. "I've had to put it all together this year."
Having started playing high school football as a sophomore and getting serious about his future before his junior season, the 6-2, 220-pound Whalen has spent most of the offseason working out at a speed camp in Green Bay in order to improve his agility and straight ahead speed.
"I've put in a lot of hard work in the offseason to have a good junior year," said Whalen. "Really after my junior season everything has picked up."
The work Whalen has put in shown through at Wisconsin weekend. Not only did he say he improved his times across the board (Whalen reported a 4.69 40-yard dash, 4.33 shuttle, 6.76 in the L-cone drill and a 29-9 on three broad jumps), he felt he was productive doing the drill work defensive coordinator Dave Aranda put him through.
"I was pretty solid overall," said Whalen. "Coach Strickland noticed (the improvement) with my running. It's really hard to say where I stand with them, so I am going to wait and see how things turn out."
A three-sport athlete who also wrestles and runs track, Whalen had over 800 rushing yards and 114 tackles on defense. He currently holds offers from Air Force and South Dakota and has plans to camp at Northern Illinois, North Dakota State and Minnesota.
"It's pretty good to have the two offers, just to know you are appreciated for all the hard work you put into it," said Whalen. "You know it's not going to go to waste."