Back-to-Back Visits for Jonathan Gruetzmacher

One of the top juniors in the state, Merrill (WI) offensive lineman Jonathan Gruetzmacher travels to Wisconsin's campus for the Badgers' first two home games.

Merrill (WI) 2017 offensive lineman Jonathan Gruetzmacher has spent the last two weekends on unofficial visits at the University of Wisconsin. He knew after the first one that things were different.

“It was a lot of fun,” Gruetzmacher told BadgerNation. “It was really nice how they made sure that all the coaches who came out to talk to the recruits made sure to talk to everyone there. It was a nice touch.

“When I went as a sophomore I only talked to head coach Gary Andersen and offensive line coach T.J. Woods and that’s all. This year it seemed like I talked to a lot of their guys. I talked with the recruiting coordinator, a lot of the staff and Coach Rudolph for quite a bit. It was nice to know they can take time to do that despite their busy schedule on game day.”

Offensive line coach Joe Rudolph has been monitoring the 6-8, 277-pound Gruetzmacher since he camped with the Badgers over the summer.

“It was really nice to see Coach Rudolph again and getting to talk to him for a while,” said Gruetzmacher. “We talked a little bit since (the Miami game) and it was about me getting him the last couple game films so he can analyze them. I sent them all three of my last games and touched base about what they want to see me do this week.”

According to Gruetzmacher, the Wisconsin coaches are looking to see how quickly he can move on pull blocks and overall game speed. More or less, Gruetzmacher has to do everything his coaches want him to do and what the Wisconsin coaches want, too.

“There’s always going to pressure, but I wouldn’t say there’s a lot more pressure on me (to impress the UW coaches) because they want to see things that I should be doing anyways,” said Gruetzmacher. “It’s probably something that has just been slipping my mind. It’s almost like an extra coaching point. That’s what I am taking it as right now.”

Other than Wisconsin, Gruetzmacher says he’s getting recruiting interest from Iowa, Iowa State, Nebraska, Purdue, Virginia, Illinois, Illinois State, Northwestern, California, Penn, North Dakota State, Central Michigan and Bowling Green.

The Bluejays are 4-1 on the season and undefeated in the Great Northern Conference. With Gruetzmacher blocking the way, Merrill is averaging 23.4 points per game while rushing for 256.8 yards.

“Our offensive line takes a lot of pride in what we do,” said Gruetzmacher. “We know we’re the biggest offensive line in the conference. We are probably one of the most experience ones returning four starters, although one unfortunately got a season-ending injury.”

In addition to attending two more Wisconsin games, Gruetzmacher will take unofficial visits to Iowa and Purdue this fall.

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