One of the top 200 prospects in the country, you won’t find Green Bay (WI) Bay Port offensive tackle Cole Van Lanen with football pads on grinding it out on the summer camp circuit. You won’t find him in jeans and a t-shirt visiting college campuses either.
Those experiences may eventually come this summer, but the main focus for Van Lanen is to win a couple of individual state track and field championships this weekend in La Crosse.
Winning the Ashwaubenon Sectional with a throw of 62-10 in the shot put (seven feet longer than second place) and 177-0 in the discus (11 feet longer than second) last week, Van Lanen enters the state tournament as the top seed in Division 1.
While some football players view another sport in the offseason as a way to stay active, the 6-5, 270-pound Van Lanen puts as much effort into being good at his two events in track and field as he does dominating opponents in the trenches.
“I’ve grown up doing track and made it one of my priorities,” Van Lanen told Scout.com. “They are both important to me. When I am in season for one sport I put the other sports on hold and then it’s vice versa.”
The two sports go hand in hand for Van Lanen, especially when it comes to making sure his workouts have a lot of crossover to allow him to excel at each sports.
“Offseason for track I’m doing football workouts, but I’ll do throwing and different upper body workouts in the summer on top of the football stuff,” said Van Lanen. “I do lighter lifts more so to maintain my strength because it’s pretty hard to do hard workouts when you only have two nights a week.”
With all the workouts and track meets on his plate, it’s been easy for Van Lanen to put recruiting to the side. Admitting it’s been hectic at times during the spring evaluation period, Van Lanen went through the month of May typically meeting coaches during the school days and seeing them later at his track workouts.
His biggest football commitment this past month was accepting an invitation to play in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl.
“I don’t cut it out completely, but when it comes to visits I try to limit that,” said Van Lanen. “With state coming up, I’m focused on track. I have so much time that I don’t need to rush anything. Schools I want to go to have told me they will wait until the end for me.”
Head coach Paul Chryst made Van Lanen one of his first priorities after being hired in December, offering him after the first of the year. Since that point, Wisconsin has stayed aggressive.
“They are probably more (aggressive than when they first offered) actually,” said Van Lanen. “They talk to me quite a bit. It’s more of chatting, getting to know each other and bonding.”
After originally thinking he would focus only on football in college, Van Lanen said he’s keeping the door open to potentially participate in track in college.
“It is a possibility,” said Van Lanen. “I’m not going to be able to put a ton of time into it, but if I can put in minimal time on top of football and excel at it, to be able to excel at two sports at the collegiate level would be pretty cool.”