Pleasant Surprises

Suffering an unlucky break that cut his junior season short, St. Xavier quarterback Luke Massa was doubting if he would get the chance to earn a scholarship. Once coaches got a hold of his film, Massa's worries were put to rest.

MADISON – Sitting on the sidelines last football season with his arm in a sling, St. Xavier quarterback Luke Massa couldn't help but think how that season could negatively impact his progression and, worst yet, his recruiting.

After missing his first game of the 2008 season after recovering from a foot injury he suffered during the previous basketball season, Massa got only three games under his belt before breaking his collarbone in his fourth game, ending his season.

Dealing with that confidence blow, imagine how thrilled Massa is to be entering the summer with two BCS scholarship offers – Cincinnati and Wisconsin - under his belt.

"If I didn't get hurt and played the whole season, things would probably be a lot different," Massa told Badger Nation. "I am not complaining though, because I have two good offers on the table. I am very grateful for having two offers after getting hurt.

"Getting that first offer is huge because it takes a huge weight off your shoulders," added the 6-foot-4, 195-pound quarterback. "I was kind of nervous wondering if I was or was not going to get an offer. Also with Wisconsin being a good school and coming from a great conference like the Big Ten, it made it real relaxing. If there was a smaller school that has offered me first, I don't think it would have mattered because other schools wouldn't have generated interest because of that."

When UW assistant coach Joe Rudolph traveled to St. Xavier (Cincinnati, OH) on a recruiting swing earlier this year, Rudolph got a hold of Massa's film and was impressed enough to extend Massa his first offer.

After helping lead the Bombers to a 15-0 finish and the Division I state title, filling in for an injured player no less, Massa completed 66 of his 124 passes for 752 yards in only four games.

"Coach Rudolph loved my film and he had seen me a couple times on film and at school," Massa said. "My coaching staff went up there and I guess they put in some good words for me. I guess it went from there, because I knew that had a lot of film in me and they told me that they felt I could fit into their system well. I haven't done a lot of research on the Badgers but if the coaches think I am going to be a good fit, I will be a good fit. I like Wisconsin's coaches a lot and I am visiting this campus, and I think I am going to like that, too."

While Massa hasn't made the trek to Madison yet, he has gotten most of his Wisconsin and Madison information from former teammate Pat Muldoon. Muldoon, a highly-ranked defensive end that signed with UW last February, will be starting his UW career this summer and has offer his services to help Massa make his decision.

"He's the one guy that I am probably going to go around the campus with," Massa said. "I am pretty good friends with him. He jokes around to me about coming to Wisconsin, but he helped me, when I wasn't getting any offers, to keep my confidence up. He didn't get his first offer until the end of his junior year and he ended up having a lot of offers."

But while Wisconsin was the first school to offer, the hometown Bearcats became the second school to extend an offer. Although Massa grew up a Xavier basketball fan because of his father having played for the school, Massa has done his research on Cincinnati football because of how Coach Brian Kelly has energized program.

"When Coach Brian Kelly came, that changed everything," Massa said. "I like Brian Kelly a lot and I think they are in a really good position to succeed. They went to the Orange Bowl last year and I think they are going to do very well this year. If I go there, it will be a good position to be in."

With dozens of schools inviting Massa to its summer camps, Massa is focused on his campus visits, visits that include trips to Wisconsin, Notre Dame, Tennessee, Boston College and Michigan State. Whether he picks up more offers remains to be seen, but Massa's goal is to make his college decision by the start of the season so he can focus on another state title run … and staying healthy.

"I am going to look at some schools this summer and depending on what happens with that, make my decision before football season starts," Massa said. "I don't want to have to worry about where I am going to go during the season."


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