An official visit to Marquette, Mich., over the weekend just solidified what Jacobs senior Jake Gierlak thought all along – Northern Michigan was the place for him.
Gierlak attended a football camp at Northern Michigan last summer and met members of the coaching staff. After Gierlak got a closer look at the Division II program with his weekend visit, he gave Wildcats coach Chris Ostrow-ski his commitment. Gierlak can sign his NCAA national letter of intent Feb. 6, the first day of the NCAA’s signing period for football, soccer, track and field, and cross country.
“I liked the whole family atmosphere with the program and the direction [the coaches] are taking it,” Gierlak said. “They started slow last year, but really picked it up.”
The Wildcats were 4-7, winning three of their last five games.
Gierlak (5-foot-10, 170 pounds) caught 42 passes, No. 2 among area receivers, and was a Northwest Herald All-Area second-team selection.
Gierlak was a three-year starter for Jacobs coach Bill Mitz, who took the Golden Eagles to the playoffs three consecutive times. Mitz’s son, Brian, is Northern Michigan’s running backs coach.
“I think they liked my toughness,” Gierlak said. “I’m not the biggest guy, but I’m always fighting for balls with kids who are bigger than me.”
Gierlak started as a sophomore at cornerback and at wide receiver his last two seasons. Northern Michigan runs a spread offense and Gierlak says he was recruited as an athlete, so either of his positions will be an option.
“My freshman year [at Jacobs] I started hearing about kids going on to the next level and knew that’s what I wanted to do,” Gierlak said. “After my junior year, I talked to some Ivy League and some D-I schools. I went to the camp at Northern Michigan last summer and met the staff and really liked them.”
Moscatello to Missouri school: Jacobs senior Anthony Moscatello will continue his soccer career next year at William Woods, an NAIA school in Fulton, Mo.
Moscatello, a 5-7 forward, was a four-year varsity player for the Eagles and was a team captain last season. Moscatello has played travel soccer with Sockers FC, the team for which he will play again this spring and summer.
• Joe Stevenson is a senior sports writer for the Northwest Herald. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. You also can follow him on Twitter @nwh_JoePrepZone.