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July 17, 2012The Mid-American Conference has always been known to pump out some of the best mid-level college football players that go on to have successful careers in the NFL.
Saline High School wide receiver Joey Zakrajsek, has every intention and hope of being the MAC's next great, under-recruited star. The offers aren't there yet for Zakrajsek, but he's started hearing from several schools throughout the busy summer camp season.
"My dream is to play in the Mid-American Conference," Zakrajsek told BroncoBlitz.com.
"You look at the number of NFL players coming out of the Mid-American Conference and it's ridiculous."
"MAC players turn underrated players into stars when they'd practically be nobody's in the Big Ten," explains Zakrajsek. "In the MAC, I feel like I'd actually get playing time and not sit on the bench."
Zakrajsek is adapting to a new up-tempo, spread offense under new Saline Hornets head varsity football coach, Joe Palka. Palka is deemed largely responsible for turning around several high school football programs in the state of Ohio. Palka also has experience at the Division 1 level having been the Recruiting Coordinator & Assistant Coach at Eastern Michigan, where he also lettered as a player (1984-1986).
"Our team just got a completely new coaching staff," explains Zakrajsek. "I hate to blame the old system on how we (wide receivers) get recruited, but we've been playing in a Wing-T offense with two tight ends. Ever since Coach Palka brought in the spread offense, it's been a lot of adapting, but it's been great."
Coach Palka has also brought in Eastern Michigan alumni to join the Hornet football coaching staff.
"It's probably going to be a big reason I get an offer," says Zakrajsek.
The Broncos have been following the 6-foot-0, 195 pound slot receiver prototype a little more closely since he last camped at WMU in late-June, and perhaps practice has been paying off.
"WMU is taking a look at me on offense. Coach (Thad) Ward was talking to me a lot at camp, giving me a lot of tips. That's the thing about WMU. All of the coaches are really nice."
Assistant Coach Bobby Erhardt (running backs and special teams coach) primarily recruits the eastern Michigan area and will presumably be contacting Zakrajsek the most from here on out in the recruiting process.
Joey's primary factors for choosing a school are the facilities, coaching staff, academics, and the campus and surrounding area. He is still undecided on a major, but would like to use his senior year of high school to get a better idea about what he'd like to study in college. Zakrajsek plans to do a lot of traveling this summer to take a few more unofficial campus visits.
Zakrajsek is getting interest from Akron, Ball State, Bowling Green, Central Michigan, Eastern Michigan, Indiana, Toledo, and Western Michigan.
As far as a timetable for his decision, he isn't quite sure yet.
"If that first offer comes, I'm going to think hard on it. I don't really want to wait around and take a chance. So if I get that first offer, it could be real soon."
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