Oak Creek has more in pipeline

Offensive tackle Matt Trinko and linebacker Mike Wey are potential Big Ten recruits

Oak Creek has made a habit of sending football players to Divisions I programs. Current Knights coach Joe Koch counts more than 30 such success stories in his 13 years at the helm of Oak Creek. Just as impressively, Oak Creek has had five players invited to the U.S. Army All-American Bowl, having enjoyed representation in four of the game's five years.

Koch, though, is not booking reservations for San Antonio in January of 2006. The Knights do not have the All-American caliber prospects they have boasted the past two seasons, with stars such as defensive ends Rhyan Anderson (class of 2004) and Raymond Henderson (2005) and linebacker Travis Beckum (2005).

But Oak Creek will again draw the attention of college recruiters, with offensive line prospect Matt Trinko and linebacker Mike Wey expected to receive major Division I scholarship offers.

"We're going to have a couple Division I recruits but nobody in … national prominence," Koch said.

Trinko, a mammoth 6-foot-8, 290-pounder, plays left tackle at Oak Creek and is ranked the No. 10 class of 2006 prospect in the state of Wisconsin by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

"He's going to be a really good player but he's still growing into his body," Koch said. "He's 6-8, 290 and he's still growing. So he's kind of like a big pup… He's very solid. I'll be honest. I was shocked he even played for us this year because I didn't know if he was at that point. But he's made leaps and bounds. As a freshman you didn't think he'd ever finish playing football. But the guy is super hard working.

"I think he'll end up being a Big Ten lineman and he is going to be really good. I mean really good because he loves to lift, he's tough and works his tail off. He's got a huge frame. He'll probably end up being 6-9, 350 pounds. He's a monster. And a great kid."

At 6-2, 215 pounds, Wey (No. 9 on the Journal-Sentinel list) has good size, but his athleticism, including a 4.5 40-yard dash, is what turns heads, Koch said.

"He can fly," Koch said. "He has a 36-inch vertical. Led the team in tackles last year. He's sideline-to-sideline. He's all over the place. Real athletic. He'll get some good looks."

Koch said Wey and Trinko have received letters from Iowa, Indiana, Minnesota and some Mid-American Conference schools.

"The Badgers know of them but they haven't commented a whole lot to me yet," Koch said.

Oak Creek is certainly on Wisconsin's radar. The Badgers signed Beckum earlier this month and also have former Knights tailback Brian Calhoun and walk-on receiver David Mortensen, who was an option quarterback at Oak Creek, on their roster.

"We have three kids there right now," Koch said. "They've got those guys to come in all the time on vacation and work on our kids."

Koch said he did not expect Trinko or Wey to receive scholarship offers until the beginning of their senior seasons. Two other Knight juniors – linebacker Robert Flores (6-1, 215) and receiver Carl Hanson (6-2, 175) – will likely draw MAC attention and have an outside shot at a Big Ten scholarship offer, Koch said.

"[Hanson's] an unbelievable athlete," Koch said. "But he's really raw in football. He never played organized football before.

"[Flores] had 28 tackles in one game. He wasn't a natural and now he's working his tail off in the weight room."

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