April 8, 2012

RB Rhattigan takes first visit

Naperville, Ill. running back Joey Rhattigan took the first visit of his recruiting process Saturday, taking in Western Michigan's second spring scrimmage and coming away with a solid impression of the campus and coaching staff. Rhattigan was particularly impressed with Waldo Stadium and the surrounding facilities.

"I was impressed with all the facilities," Rhattigan said. "The weight room was a pretty nice setup, and I also liked how the stadium was set up, built on the hill, I thought that was really cool."

The 6-foot, 200 pound running back out of Neuqua Valley High School was selected to the Illinois High School Football Coaches' Association All-State team for his performance in 2011, totaling 1300 yards on 199 carries with 21 touchdowns. He was also named to the Academic All-Illinois team and is drawing interest from the Ivy League.

Offensive line coach A.J. Ricker has had the most contact with Rhattigan, who says he has a physical style of running and would like to continue to grow his strength to become more bruising. He also has an impressive pedigree, as his father played football for West Virginia and his brother T.J. is a walk-on sophomore linebacker for Penn State.

The top priorities for Rhattigan in his decision are education, a winning team, and the right student body size.

"I go to a pretty big high school, around 5,000 kids, and I'm looking for something bigger than that," Rhattigan said. "Another thing would be proximity and how easy it is to get to the school."

Following his first visit, Rhattigan was excited to continue his recruiting process. His future visit plans include going out east to visit many of the Ivy League schools, and checking out the Blue/White game at Penn State on April 21st. Among the schools showing interest at this point are Air Force, Penn State, Minnesota, Indiana, and Stanford along with the Ivy League schools. None have offered at this stage.

As for his visit to WMU, Rhattigan was able to get a good idea from coach Ricker of how interested the Broncos were in him as a member of the class of 2012.

"The offensive line coach said he was going to come to see me and two other lineman that play at my school, so he seemed pretty interested," Rhattigan said.

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