QB's recruitment heating up

Wylie, Texas signal caller Patrick Witt (6-foot-4, 210 pounds), a transfer from Lilburn, Ga., has made a favorable impression on his new coach, and the college recruiters who have sought him out this spring. He has strong interest in Wisconsin.

The scholarship offers Patrick Witt has received from college football programs this spring obscure an important qualifier. Before he could ponder his collegiate options, he had to win the starting quarterback job at his new high school.

Witt, the starter at Parkview in Lilburn, Ga., as a junior last fall, transferred to Wylie High School in Wylie, Texas, near Dallas, this winter.

"He's definitely the starter here at our high school," said Wylie's first-year head coach, Bill Howard, who took over for Mark Ball, now the school's athletic director, this spring. "He came in and proved himself. Very sharp, very poised, extremely tough young man. I think that probably sold me as much as anything, how tough he is… He's a very physical quarterback."

Witt saw the pace of his recruitment pick up during the spring evaluation period, especially after Texarkana, Texas quarterback Ryan Mallett, a five-star prospect, verbally committed to Michigan in late April.

"I know that the school that (Witt) thought showed him the most interest was Michigan, and they recruited that quarterback from Texarkana," Howard said during a telephone interview yesterday afternoon. "And then after that it's all kind of opened up."

In mid-May Witt received his first scholarship offer, from Wisconsin, and soon thereafter picked up an offer from Indiana. He now also has tenders from UTEP and Tulane, according to Howard.

"Baylor and Houston are going to offer him," Howard said. "They haven't officially offered him yet. Texas Tech looks like they're thinking about offering him. Vanderbilt (is interested), Purdue has talked to him several times. Tulsa is now interested. Rice is interested in him. (Oklahoma) is very interested in him. I'm probably leaving somebody out.

"There's a lot of schools that did show interest — a lot of the smaller schools. But since Wisconsin got in the mix a lot of them know they are not going to be able to compete with the Big Ten."

It did not take long for Witt to make a positive impression on Howard.

"Patrick's been a blessing for us," Howard said. "He's got an extremely strong arm…

"I know in the spring game he did real well. I think he threw for six touchdowns in our spring game. But we have a top-notch receiver that he hit quite a few of them on. And we didn't go ones against ones, we went ones against twos. So Patrick had a real good spring."

"He's very athletic," Howard said. "He's a lot better athlete than most 6-foot-4, 210-pound kids."

Witt probably runs a 4.8 40-yard dash, Witt said.

"In the summer maybe he can get down to maybe a 4.7," Howard said. "… He's just a very good athlete. And that surprised me. To go along with his toughness it made him a lot better runner than I thought he was going to be…

"His reaction (time), his decision-making, his wiggle… he's not stiff at all. He's a very fluid quarterback."

Howard said that Witt was doing an "excellent" job handling the recruiting process. "He is extremely intelligent," Howard said. "He is low key. He makes good decisions."

What are Witt's summer plans?

"We sat down (Tuesday) night—Patrick and I and his parents—sat down and went through all of them. He's going to attend several camps.

"I know he's going to go to Wisconsin, but not to their camp. Because their camp conflicts with our 7-on-7. We have 7-on-7 state qualifiers about every Saturday, and we're in a league…

"I know he's going to go to Wisconsin because he's definitely interested in Wisconsin.

"He's probably going to go to a Baylor camp, Houston camp, UTEP, and Rice, are the ones that are around here. And Texas Tech is going to be at one of those. I don't think he's planning on going to an Indiana camp.

"He's looking but I know Wisconsin is somebody that he's extremely interested in. I know Baylor is really starting to hammer him hard."

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