By Murray Gleffe
DE PERE – It doesn’t take long for the occasional observer to notice Jake Karchinski on the football field. He stands out with his 6-foot-5, 250 pound athletic frame.
Wednesday, December 19, marked an important day at West De Pere High School, as Karchinski finally inked his National Letter of Intent to play for the Iowa Hawkeyes beginning with the 2019-20 season.
According to West De Pere activities director Scott Eggart, Karchinski is the first football player from West De Pere to sign a Division 1 letter in almost 50 years.
“Iowa and Coach Ferentz believed in me from the start,” said Karchinski about the recruiting process. “I’ve dreamed of this moment since I first started school 12 years ago. When I took my visit, it wasn’t fake. They laid everything out for me and what it would take to play for the team in each of my four years.”
North Dakota State and Wisconsin were also heavily involved with Karchinski’s recruitment.
In his three years of starting on the defensive line, the Phantoms went 32-5.
Karchinski registered over 175 tackles and had 7.5 sacks in his final season, while leading the Phantoms to the WIAA Division 3 state championship game.
“Jake has done a great job leading his class,” said West De Pere football coach Jack Batten. “With an undefeated conference championship and a trip down to the state championship, there is no doubt his leadership and play on the field played a big part in that success. He possesses long levers and is athletic for a young man his size.”
Iowa currently sits at 8-4 (5-4 Big Ten) and will play Mississippi St. in the Outback Bowl on New Year’s Day.
The Hawkeyes’ defense gave up just over 17.0 points per game and had two shutouts versus Illinois and Maryland this season.
Iowa’s recruiting class currently sits at 37th nationally according to 247sports.com.
Kinnick Stadium has been featured on ESPN Gameday for its 70,000 plus, heartwarming fans waving back at the patients in the University of Iowa Children’s Hospital (which looks down upon the field) after the first quarter.
“I just want to help the team anyway possible next year,” added Karchinski. “I could be playing offensive line, tight end or on the defensive line depending on how my body fills out. I’m looking forward to getting to Iowa City to get stronger, meet the guys and become part of the family.”
Karchinski will join 2018 graduates Jack Plumb (Bay Port) and Henry Giel (Green Bay Preble) on the roster.