Gruetzmacher on Rudolph's Radar

Likely the top junior offensive linemen in the state for 2017 and potential one of the top ones in the Midwest, Merrill High School's Jonathan Gruetzmacher could be a close to his first offer after getting positive feedback from Wisconsin offensive coordinator Joe Rudolph as the Badgers' high school summer camp Sunday.

The state of Wisconsin routinely produced some of the top offensive linemen in the Midwest. That’s the case for 2016 in Hartland Arrowhead’s Ben Bredeson and Bay Port’s Cole Van Lanen. It could be the case as well in 2017 with Merrill High School offensive lineman Jonathan Gruetzmacher.

One of the top in-state prospects in the 2017 class, Gruetzmacher returned to Wisconsin’s campus Sunday for the Badgers’ first high school summer camp, a camp experience he said was more enjoyable than the one he went through last summer.

“It was a lot more of a ‘work to get better’ camp this year and we got a lot more quality reps doing things this year than last year when I was here,” Gruetzmacher told BadgerNation. “Last year when I was here, it was a completely different atmosphere. We did more one-on-ones and quality reps to get better (this year).”

Having steadily build a relationship with the Wisconsin coaching staff, a back and forth that has continued since he visited for UW’s spring game in April, Gruetzmacher got positive feedback from offensive coordinator/offensive line coach Joe Rudolph after both the morning and afternoon sessions.

“He told me that he was pretty impressed with how flexible I am, that I get a good knee bend and am able to stay low and keep a low pad level for being such a tall guy,” said Gruetzmacher, who feels like he won a number of one-on-one battles. “Coach Rudolph right away at the start of it said nobody was going to get a scholarship (Sunday) but said we’re going to have fun, put in work and get ourselves better. We were all taking all the coaching we could get and applied that when we went against the defense and try to beat them every chance we can.”

One of the tallest players at camp at 6-8, Gruetzmacher has his weight up to 275 pounds and wants to push his weight up another 10-15 pounds before the start of his junior season.

“I am pretty strong upper body wise and I’ve working on playing lower, so I feel I have that aspect going well for me,” said Gruetzmacher. “I just need to work on getting my upper body strength to where it should be for my size. I think that would be pretty good for me.”

While he’s still waiting for his first scholarship offer, Gruetzmacher said Bowling Green, Central Michigan, Iowa, North Dakota State and Wisconsin have all visited his school during the spring evaluation period, and he’s received letters from Oklahoma State and Purdue.

Should the Badgers offer him a scholarship in the coming days or weeks, it likely wouldn’t shut down Gruetzmacher recruitment but would make the Badgers a tough team to beat.

“It would impact me greatly because it’s something I’ve always been working for,” said Gruetzmacher of the impact of a UW offer. “It would make very happy that they would offer me because I know of all the work I’ve put toward it. I think that would make my recruitment start to pick up.”

Badger Nation Top Stories