Kendricks leaps onto scene

Standout wide receiver's football recruiting took a jump after he won a track national title last year

About a year ago, college recruiters' focus on Lance Kendricks became much more intense — for his track prowess. It was last August when Kendricks won the triple jump in the intermediate boys' division of the AAU Junior Olympic Games with a leap of 48 feet, 10 ¾ inches — more than four feet better than his closest competition.

Winning a prestigious national meet a month before his junior year of high school began understandably caught the attention of college programs. Kendricks, however, has still to this date never received a scholarship offer directly from a track program. The reason is simple. If football is not part of the equation, Kendricks is not interested.

"The schools that I've talked to they know that I play football and I'm strong on it," Kendricks said in a telephone interview last week. "So if football's not in the mix then I'm not really going to [consider that school]."

Kendricks, a soon-to-be senior at Milwaukee King, is rated as a 3-star football prospect nationally and the No. 3 prospect in the state of Wisconsin by He boasts scholarship offers from Wisconsin, LSU, Arkansas and most recently Purdue.

For the 6-foot-4, 205-pound wide receiver, football and track are a package deal. His suitors for each sport understand that. So some track programs have been pushing Kendricks to the football coaches on their campuses and vice versa.

"I like the fact that…. I'm going to be able to run track for any school I pick," Kendricks said.

Some schools, such as Iowa, have been recruiting Kendricks for football since he was a freshman. Other programs began pursuing him initially for track and field.

"That's what happened with LSU," Kendricks said. "I talked to their track coach like whenever they called. I think that's April. They talked to me about track… and then I told them about football. And then I went to the Nike camp and then [the football coaches] told me that they talked to the track coach and they saw my results from the camp."

Kendricks received a scholarship offer from LSU soon after his performance at the Nike Invitational camp at USC. It was track that originally put Kendricks on the Tigers' radar but he has been impressing schools with his football talents as well. He had more than 500 yards receiving last year and was considered one of the best athletes at the USC Nike camp.

In addition to the Nike event, he also made trips to one-day camps at Wisconsin and Notre Dame. "And I was supposed to go to Michigan State but I didn't go," Kendricks said.

The 2005 AAU Junior Olympic Games track and field competition takes place Aug. 1-6 in New Orleans this year, once again putting a focus on Kendricks' triple jumping talent. He placed second at the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association Division 1 state championships in June.

At that event he recorded a 48-4 on his first jump. But he said that he cramped up running down the track for his second jump, when he notched a 48-2.

"It kind of fell off from there because my calf muscle was sore," Kendricks said.

Kendricks is also a capable sprinter, but he expects to focus on jumps in college.

"As of right now just jumps because that's what I'm getting recruited for," he said. "I'm not really sure about sprints."

Even though his scholarship offers are all for football, Kendricks is one of the nation's top prep triple jumpers. So which sport is he receiving more attention from?

"Well, since the summer, football," he said. "But when last year when I won nationals, like around August, September, the track letters started to come in.

"Like right now I'm getting recruited by Minnesota pretty hard for just track and I told them, well they know that I play football and know that I'm good enough to get recruited for it. So they are going to talk to the football coach about it."

With this summer's AAU event, and his senior season on the gridiron on the horizon, more schools may soon pile on Kendricks' two-sport bandwagon.

Badger Nation Top Stories