Bloomington, Ind. – A couple of summer camps changed Marc Damisch's outlook about his football future.
Before hitting the spring and summer camp scene, the 6-6, 280-pound Buffalo Grove (Ill.) H.S. product had a vision for his football future, but it wasn't necessarily one that included Indiana or anyone else at the major Division I level.
"Before (the camps), I was thinking more I-AA or a lower level of football," Damisch said. "But after those camps I changed my goals."
What happened was Damisch impressed plenty of on-lookers at both the Nike Camp in West Lafayette as well as the QB1 offensive/defensive line camp at Maine South (Ill.) H.S. in suburban Chicago. Going up against plenty of other Division I prospects, Damisch showed the sort of skills that earned him scholarship offers from Army, Toledo, Bowling Green, Western Michigan and Central Michigan.
While his performance didn't immediately draw an offer from Indiana, Head Coach Bill Lynch was in attendance at the QB1 camp and was impressed enough with what he saw to suggest that Damisch come to Bloomington for its Offensive Line/Defensive Line Camp in mid-June with the possibility of earning his first Big Ten offer.
"He wanted (IU Offensive Line) Coach (Bobby) Johnson to see me before offering me," Damisch said. "So I went down there and they offered me after the camp."
What Johnson saw was the same thing Lynch had witnessed – a big, athletic lineman who fit the mold of linemen the Hoosiers had been bring to Bloomington in recent years.
"As for as offensive linemen go, for my height I'm kind of light," Damisch said. "So (Johnson) liked that I can move my feet, and that I have the sort of frame where I could add a lot of weight in college and still be able to move."
After earning the IU offer, it didn't take Damisch long to commit. Once it became clear he could play major Division I football, the Big Ten was an enticing draw.
"It was a goal of mine to play Big Ten football, and Indiana offered me that opportunity," said Damisch, who expects to play tackle at the collegiate level.
But Indiana offered more than just football – Damisch said his trip to IU's O-Line/D-Line camp as well as a trip to town for spring practice gave him a taste of what life in Bloomington would be all about.
"I definitely like the school, it's a college town atmosphere," Damisch said. "They have great academics, a great campus, I have some friends that also want to go to Indiana. As far as football they're Big Ten and I feel their program is on the rise. That was enough to convince me to go to Indiana."
His performances at the summer camps, meanwhile, were reason enough for IU to welcome him into a recruiting class that has now reached 10. With his decision now behind him, Damisch heads into his senior season relieved to have the decision out of the way, and also brimming with confidence from his summer exploits.
"(The camps) were a big deal as far as confidence," Damisch said. "You know if you can block those guys, you can block anybody."
This week's commitments of Chad Sherer, Marc Damisch and Will Matte have provided further evidence…