De Pere, Wis. - UPDATE: Karchinski verbally committed to Iowa during an on-campus visit on May 18th.
Great athletes continue to challenge themselves.
That's what West De Pere junior Jake Karchinski is doing this spring by joining the track and field team for the first time and throwing shot put.
"At first I was throwing 35' and now I'm up to 45'-48' area, so that's been good," Karchinski said. "My form is still a little off, but I've just been getting better and better every day."
Make no mistake though, Karchinski does his best work under the Friday night lights, and since March the tight end/defensive end has seen his Division 1 college recruitment explode.
"It's just a great feeling," Karchinski said. "I thought I was only going to get like three offers maybe and all the sudden I'm up to 14. I'm like holy crap I'm up to 14! It's just been great and really fun."
Recently a game-changer was thrown into the mix when Karchinski received his first Big Ten offer from Iowa, the first school to come visit him in De Pere.
"They've been up here probably 10 times watching me work out, Karchinski said. "It's been a process, but once I got that offer it was like all the hard work has finally paid off."
"Karchinski had no idea his Iowa offer would become a national story. After posting about it on Twitter, an assistant coach at rival Iowa State accidently replied with a disparaging remark that he deleted shortly after. But the damage was done.
"Obviously, he made a big mistake," said West De Per head football coach Jack Batten. "Grown adults should not be taking shots at 17-year old kids. "To their head coach's credit, he's sent an apology, written us, and called us. This is a hard lesson, but you can't take it back."
Karchinski took the slight in stride, and is using it as a chip on his shoulder moving forward.
"I was pretty bummed about it, but I'm just going to use that as motivation. Every day I'm going to look at it, and I'm going to prove people wrong."
After compiling 61 tackles and 18 TFL's as a junior, two-time unanimous all-conference performer is built to do just that.
"He's 6-5, 245 pounds and he didn't get that way by accident," said Batten. "He's put his time in the weight room. He's really committed to football; he loves football. Ultra-competitive and for his size, he can move pretty well."
Karchinski will be going to a Badgers football camp next month, so what happens if he gets an offer from Wisconsin?
"If the Badgers came in and offered me today, it would be a tough decision between Iowa and Wisconsin, Karchinski admitted. That would be a dream come true. I'm a Badger kid, but Iowa is still a great school and I love everything they're about."
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