Linebacker Matt Plank (Gardner, Kan./Gardner Edgerton) is in the early stages of his recruiting process. Visits to Kansas and Kansas State have been made, and future visits to other schools are in the process of being set up.
The 6-foot-2, 210-pound middle linebacker is hoping the summer will be his chance to show his worth to colleges unaware of his game. As a junior, he led Gardner Edgerton with 127 tackles – 76 of those were solo – and also had two sacks, two interceptions and a blocked kick. Plank has been a varsity contributor since his sophomore season.
“He’s had a really good winter and spring in the weight room. He’s bigger and stronger,” said Gardner Edgerton coach Marvin Diener said. “I expect him to have a great, great season. I’ve been very pleased with his progress. He’s the real deal and is going to be great for somebody.”
Plank helped Gardner Edgerton advance to the Kansas Class 5A state semifinal round in November. He is still looking for his first offer but has received interest from Kansas, Kansas State, Michigan, Iowa and Arkansas State. Plank is looking to set up a time to visit Iowa and Arkansas State soon.
Plank said his visits to Kansas and Kansas State were positive. He also said there were definite distinctions between the two programs as he watched practices.
“I liked KU because of Charlie Weis,” Plank said. “I got to sit with [defensive coordinator] Coach [Dave] Campo and [linebackers] Coach [DeMontie] Cross and talk in detail about how they coach the defense. They really made me feel like it was wide open for everybody.
“With K-State, I liked their coaches, too. It’s a different atmosphere there. At KU, it’s more animated, a little more shouting and yelling. K-State’s more down to earth with coach [Bill] Snyder. I also like the fact that K-State has a three-year academic program. They try to get all of their freshmen to graduate in 3-3 ½ years.”
Plank said he will know more about his recruiting after attending a few prospect camps over the summer. He has an idea of what he’s looking for in a winning school.
“I’m looking for a coach I can relate to, someone who’s not distant from everyone else,” Plank said. “I really want to stay close to home, because family is important to me. I also want to graduate. If a school has a low graduation rate, it’s not for me.”