Willenbrock A Tough, Athletic Lineman

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Downingtown East (Exton, PA) head coach Mike Matta didn’t mince words when praising offensive lineman Jack Willenbrock , who is the latest high school junior to verbally commit to Virginia Tech.

“Virginia Tech is getting a hard-working, strong, athletic kid that is nails tough,” Matta said, referring to the 6-4, 250-pound Willenbrock. “He played the latter part of last season with a broken [fibula]. He put on an air cast and played through it. He’s an aggressive, strong, tough kid. Virginia Tech is also getting a high character kid. I visited Virginia Tech with a couple of my coaches a few years ago, so I know Coach Beamer puts a lot of stock in character.”

Tech, led by primary recruiter Shane Beamer, initially noticed Willenbrock while watching video of junior running back Drew Harris.

“We have a top [junior] halfback, Drew Harris, who Virginia Tech saw film on and offered,” Matta recalled. “They saw another kid running downfield, crushing a defensive back. They asked who number 51 was. They said if they come up and eyeball him and he’s at least 6-3, then they could have something. He is at least 6-3, 250-plus pounds, and I think he can carry a lot more.”

On May 10, Willenbrock and his family made their way to Blacksburg for an unofficial visit. They were obviously impressed, particularly so with head coach Frank Beamer.

“With parents, they want to be able to look a head coach in the eye. Coach Beamer is so sincere. You look the guy in the eye and feel comfortable,” Matta said. “Jack’s parents are very organized. His mother returned in October after 13 months in Afghanistan. They felt comfortable with Coach Beamer.”

Matta added, “The hardest thing for players from our area and Virginia Tech is just getting down there. It’s a great college, a great town. Virginia Tech has a tremendous coaching staff with unheard of stability.”

Willenbrock started at offensive tackle this past season, but Virginia Tech envisions him as an offensive guard on the next level. A versatile and athletic prospect, the Tech-bound standout will likely see action on both sides of the line in his senior season.

“We don’t play kids both ways, but this year we’ll play him on the defensive line as well