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Big Decision: Center Grove tight end weighs college choice


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Center Grove senior Nate Wozniak runs the football after making a catch during Center Grove's semi-state loss to Lawrence Central Friday, Nov. 16, 2012, at Center Grove High School in Greenwood, Indiana. Scott Roberson / Daily Journal
Center Grove senior Nate Wozniak runs the football after making a catch during Center Grove's semi-state loss to Lawrence Central Friday, Nov. 16, 2012, at Center Grove High School in Greenwood, Indiana. Scott Roberson / Daily Journal

Center Grove senior Nate Wozniak run onto the field before Center Grove's semi-state loss to Lawrence Central Friday, Nov. 16, 2012, at Center Grove High School in Greenwood, Indiana. Scott Roberson / Daily Journal
Center Grove senior Nate Wozniak run onto the field before Center Grove's semi-state loss to Lawrence Central Friday, Nov. 16, 2012, at Center Grove High School in Greenwood, Indiana. Scott Roberson / Daily Journal

Center Grove senior Nate Wozniak stands with teammates before Center Grove's semi-state loss to Lawrence Central Friday, Nov. 16, 2012, at Center Grove High School in Greenwood, Indiana. Scott Roberson / Daily Journal
Center Grove senior Nate Wozniak stands with teammates before Center Grove's semi-state loss to Lawrence Central Friday, Nov. 16, 2012, at Center Grove High School in Greenwood, Indiana. Scott Roberson / Daily Journal


Division I football recruiting can be a colorful process.

Web pages featuring everything from bar graphs to national position rankings to video highlights from actual games posted have become part of the process.

It’s here Center Grove senior Nate Wozniak is big in our point-and-click world.

The sure-handed 6-foot-10, 242-pound tight end has so far received offers from seven programs, with Indiana, Purdue, The “U” (Miami, Fla.), Maryland, Iowa State, Minnesota and Cincinnati.

Wozniak, who caught 20 passes for 321 yards and five touchdowns in the Trojans’ run-oriented wing-T offense this season, insists Purdue and Miami remain the leaders for his services. This isn’t much of a departure from August.

“I kind of put the recruiting behind me during the season because I wanted to focus on how my high school team was doing,” said Wozniak, whose sixth-ranked Center Grove squad lost to No. 1 Lawrence Central 28-15 in Friday’s Class 5A semistate. “In December I’m going to take one official visit to Purdue, and sometime that month I’m going to visit Miami.”

Where Wozniak ranks on a national scope depends on the recruiting service doing the evaluating.

Yahoo! Sports ranks him the country’s 38th-best prep tight end, while Scout.com puts Wozniak 53rd. He’s been listed as a lineman on at least one other recruiting site and weighing anywhere between 240 and 255 pounds on others.

Believe what you want. Just know he’s coveted. So much so that Trojans coach Eric Moore is confident new suitors will emerge in the coming days and weeks now that Center Grove’s season has come to an end.

Wozniak already has made unofficial visits to Indiana and Purdue. In the case of the Boilermakers, who have been rumored to possibly be making a coaching change after Saturday’s Old Oaken Bucket game against Indiana, Wozniak can only wait and see.

“If that happened ... there would be a little bit of reconsidering,” he said. “I’ve seen some articles and some tweets about possible replacement coaches (at Purdue), but I don’t get into that.”

There are those who, because of Wozniak’s agility and good hands, believe a redshirt season and 40 or 50 additional pounds of muscle could transform him into an outstanding collegiate offensive tackle. Wozniak, however, sees himself as a tight end, as do most of those coaching staffs offering him a scholarship.

Wozniak has no timetable regarding an announcement. He just knows it will be sometime between now and Feb. 6, which is the first day a senior player can sign a national letter of intent for college football.

Wherever he winds up, Wozniak feels fortunate having been part of a high school program in which success is both planned for and expected. Of the Trojans’ 28 games the past two seasons, more than one-third (10) were postseason matchups.

For comparison sake, Ben Davis and Warren Central have combined for 10 postseason games during the same period.

“My high school career was a great experience, and I would like to think it was pretty successful, too,” Wozniak said. “It was fun. I’ve learned so much since the first game of my junior season to now. The one thing I’ve learned the most is work ethic.

“It’s tough here. It’s not for everyone.”

Moore has been setting the bar high for 14 seasons. Never once has Wozniak failed to live up to expectations.

“Nate’s a hard worker. He practices hard and leads by example,” Moore said. “For all of the attention Nate gets, he’s done a really good job.”

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