As a high school football player, Lee Wroblewski didn’t imagine himself hauling in passes at the next level.
Throwing them, maybe, but not catching them.
An option quarterback at Paoli High School, Wroblewski has transitioned into a dependable slot receiver at Franklin College, where he’s a two-time All-Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference first team selection.
Best of all, his brother and closest friend has seen every one. Fellow wideout Tanner Wroblewski, after all, just eclipsed 1,000 career receiving yards himself as a member of coach Mike Leonard’s program.
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Eighteen months apart in age, the brothers Wroblewski are putting the finishing touches on productive senior seasons.
“We started in youth league, so every other year we were able to play together. There was always one year when I went up a level and he was still in his last year of that division,” said Lee, who turned 23 in July.
“For me, it’s like playing football with my best friend.”
After graduating from high school, Lee Wroblewski attended Indiana University-Southeast for the 2013-14 school year. He chose to transfer following his freshman year.
He entered Franklin College in 2014 at the same time as Tanner.
“They’re two unique individuals. They’re not alike in hardly any way, but are great guys and very competitive,” Leonard said. “Both are great friends with everyone in the program. Just all-around good southern Indiana guys.”
Tanner, who is 6-foot-4, holds the upper hand on the basketball court — his 1,054 career points are ninth all-time in Paoli’s boys history — but Lee claims to be the better fisherman.
Sibling competitiveness aside, they love being teammates.
The brothers are two of the Grizzlies’ top three receivers this season in terms of receptions and yardage. Senior quarterback Chase Burton is also known to look in the direction of Deontez Alexander, running back Jordan Brown and receiver Brad Bonomini.
Franklin College averages 391 passing yards and 47.8 points a game.
An injury to receiver Zach Cole pushed Lee Wroblewski into the starting lineup by late September of the 2014 season. He finished with seven receptions before drastically increasing his productivity the following fall with 56.
Tanner is quieter and more reserved — traits he said he believes he inherited from their father, Brian. Lee is more social, which he attributes to his mom Shannon’s side of the family.
“I would say I’m probably more laid-back,” Tanner said. “I don’t necessarily say as much unless I feel like I need to.”
Lee Wroblewski majors in exercise science, while Tanner is a public relations major. Meanwhile, Brian and Shannon have attended every football game Franklin College has played, home and away, since the moment their sons set foot on campus.
The Grizzlies’ Senior Day takes place Nov. 4, when Franklin College hosts Anderson at Faught Stadium. That game and commencement exercises in the spring promise to be emotional events for the Wroblewski family.
“It’ll be different, and not having football, too,” Tanner said. “I feel football has been a part of our family forever. I’m sure we’ll eventually find something to get back together, whether it’s coaching somewhere or something else.”
QUITE THE CATCHES
A season-by-season look at the careers of Franklin College football players Lee and Tanner Wroblewski: