Jacobs junior quarterback Chris Katrenick had made the trips, spending countless hours on the road with unofficial visits, messaging with coaches and talking on the phone.
So Monday night, earlier than he initially planned, he decided he was ready to make his college choice. He looked at the offers he had received that were still available, and Bowling Green became the obvious choice.
So, instead of waiting it out and throwing for more teams during the spring evaluation period, he called Jacobs coach Bill Mitz and told him he was ready to commit.
Mitz talked to Bowling Green area recruiter Benny Morrison, one of Mitz’s former players from Stevenson, and told Morrison he should come to Jacobs on Tuesday for big news. That’s when Katrenick committed, later calling Bowling Green head coach Mike Jinks and quarterbacks coach/offensive coordinator Andy Padron.
“I just got a really good feeling on Bowling Green,” Katrenick said. “It was just a really good fit for me.”
Bowling Green won the Mid-American Conference title game last season, finishing fifth in the nation in passing yards per game before coach Dino Babers left for Syracuse. Jinks spent the past three seasons at Texas Tech, last year as associate head coach and running backs coach. Padron was Texas Lutheran’s offensive coordinator the past six seasons.
The Falcons’ offer was one of seven Katrenick ultimately received. He took an unofficial visit to the school in Bowling Green, Ohio, less than a month earlier and fell in love. The 6-foot-2, 205-pounder also had offers from Virginia, Miami (Ohio), Buffalo, North Dakota State, Illinois State and Toledo.
Katrenick said he had a long talk Monday with former Marian Central quarterback Chris Streveler, who is now going through the recruiting process a second time as he prepares to leave Minnesota as a graduate transfer. They spoke more about the process than specific schools, but ultimately it helped Katrenick decide he was ready to commit.
“He never mentioned Bowling Green, but he told me that if you get the chance to play college football, it doesn’t matter where you are at,” Katrenick said. “We talked about how you should go through the process and college football in general.”
The two first met at a Marian Central camp when Katrenick was in seventh grade, the year Katrenick first started playing quarterback. Katrenick started working with quarterbacks coach Jeff Christensen of Throw It Deep and has worked with him since.
“[Christensen]’s definitely developed me as a QB and a leader,” Katrenick said. “He’s taught me a lot about life and football.”
Although Katrenick had the seven offers, he knew he had to choose before other quarterback recruits took the offer, because schools generally don’t take more than one quarterback per recruiting class.
“I’m extremely excited for him; I think it’s a great choice,” Mitz said. “Now I want him to have a helluva senior year at Jacobs.
“Things have changed so much in the 36 years I’ve been doing this. … The schools aren’t going to wait around. They have to go out and get these kids to commit.”
Mitz said he wasn’t surprised by the interest Katrenick has received.
“He’s got a lot of potential. He’s gained 30 pounds in lifting since he’s been here, and he’s got a strong arm. He’s very intelligent. Now he’s going to a school that throws the football.”
Katrenick said he owes a ton of that success to Mitz.
“He’s just set me up with a great football program to play for,” Katrenick said. “I have never known a coach he doesn’t have some sort of connection to. He’s been honest with me in recruiting, really helped develop me as a recruit.
“He’s pushed me to be tougher, in the weight room. He’s just been awesome. I’m grateful to have a high school coach like him.”