Mentzer Follows Heart, Family's Lead

Bloomington, Ind. – When Ft. Wayne Dwenger standout Mick Mentzer finally received a long-awaited scholarship offer from Indiana late last month, his father had only one question for him. My Dad asked me, ‘what are you waiting for?'" Mentzer recalls...

Bloomington, Ind. – When Ft. Wayne Dwenger standout Mick Mentzer finally received a long-awaited scholarship offer from Indiana late last month, his father had only one question for him.

"My Dad asked me, ‘what are you waiting for?'" Mentzer recalls. "He kept nagging me."

The inquiries didn't stop there. With a family loaded with either IU graduates or current IU students, Mick said he received a steady stream of text messages from family members asking about his decision. Everyone was pushing and prodding the 6-3 ½, 295-pound prep standout to follow in their footsteps and head to Bloomington.

This week, Mentzer made the IU staff as well as a household of family members happy when he announced he would, in fact, accept IU's scholarship offer and play for Coach Bill Lynch beginning next fall.

While his family wanted him in Bloomington, it wasn't their pressure play that got him to pick IU over offers from Ball State and Northern Illinois. He admits he desperately wanted to be offered by the Hoosiers.

"Ball State and Northern Illinois offered me, and I waited two months, and was thinking, ‘come on, Indiana," Mentzer said. "When I got the offer, I was extremely happy."

Mentzer got the offer soon his appearance at a one-day camp June 22. After working out for a handful of IU coaches during his day in Bloomington, he got the call from Lynch later that night offering a scholarship.

The call came as a relief to Mentzer, who wasn't sure how well he'd performed at IU's camp. A fullback and linebacker at Bishop Dwenger, Mentzer is projected as either a defensive tackle of offensive linemen in college, and much of what he did at IU's camp was foreign to him due to the position switch.

"When I was going through some offensive line drills I told them that I knew nothing about the position because I'd never played it before," said Mentzer, who had 90 tackles as a linebacker during his junior season. "But they were great. They wanted to see my footwork, and they talked me through it step by step."

The IU staff liked what they saw enough to offer Mentzer, who becomes the fifth in-state player to commit for the 2008 class. He joins wide receivers Marquelo Suel and Tandon Doss, defensive tackle Nick Sliger and linebacker/safety Chad Sherer as future Hoosiers.

It's decision that Mentzer is excited about not only for himself, but for the future of the IU program.

"With my family all growing up and going to Indiana, I was born to be a Hoosier," Mentzer said.

"They really started getting me the last couple of years because I've seen they're getting better and better. It's exciting to see and it's going to be awesome to be a part of it."

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