Jerod Arlich tends to stand out. At 6-4 and 246 pounds, Arlich is bigger than the offensive linemen who block for him at Mahtomedi High School. Then, there is Arlich's spring sport, track, in which he runs the 110-meter high hurdles.
"Actually it was kind of cool. At every single meet I participated in at least one hurdle runner was like, ‘are you sure you are supposed to be over here?'" Arlich said.
His success speaks for itself—Arlich won a conference title in the 110 high hurdles last year, while his Mahtomedi football team finished as Class AAAA runner-up.
This season is not going quite as well by comparison (Mahtomedi is 4-4, after finishing 13-1 last year) but Arlich is still standing out in the crowd, with recruiters hot on his trail.
Arlich has received offers from at least five schools—Wisconsin, Northwestern, Minnesota, Navy and Colorado. He visited Colorado Oct. 11 and is slated to visit Northwestern (Dec. 5), Wisconsin (Dec. 12) and Navy (Jan. 9) before recruiting season closes. Iowa and Notre Dame are also showing interest.
"The only visit I have taken so far is Colorado," Arlich said. "I really don't have anything to compare."
Arlich has visited Wisconsin twice unofficially, once in early August and also for the Badgers' game against North Carolina Sept. 20.
"Me and a couple of my buddies, we went down to the Notre Dame camp this summer and on the way down (defensive line) coach (Jim) Hueber, the coach that is recruiting me, gave us a tour of the facilities," Arlich said. "Comparing (the facilities) to other Big Ten schools that I have seen they are right up there. I've seen Northwestern's and Minnesota. Wisconsin's, they are great."
Arlich was impressed with the atmosphere for a Wisconsin home game.
"I thought it was crazy," Arlich said. "That is the only thing to describe it. It is nothing like I've ever experienced, NFL or anything. Especially the student section—they are just crazy. My two favorite parts of the student section were the different speed waves and then the ‘Jump Around' was pretty cool."
Different schools are looking at Arlich as a fullback, tight end, linebacker, defensive end or even as a strong a safety.
"(Wisconsin) would like to use me as an H-back or a tight end," Arlich said. "Coach (Ianello), he has started talking to me more cause he is the one who is kind of deciding where I play. I think since he is showing the most interest in me I'm thinking tight end."
Arlich said the most important thing in his decision is, "how I can relate to my position coach. It is not necessarily the head coach or anything like that because I'm going to be spending most of my time with the position coach. I really need to have a good feeling about him."
Arlich is planning on taking his visits before making a decision.