Will Colmery’s commitment leads to offer from Purdue

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Nazareth defensive end Will Colmery has been able to scratch a few items off his bucket list recently, while the Roadrunners prepare to host Sycamore (10-0) in the second round of the IHSA Class 5A playoffs on Saturday.

In addition to fulfilling the goal of reaching the playoffs, Colmery also just verbally committed to play football at Purdue next year.

“I am definitely excited, I grew up always dreaming of playing in the Big Ten, so it was definitely a dream come true,” said Colmery, a 6-foot-5, 242-pound senior from Western Springs. “I have been kind of waiting on a Big Ten offer for a while now; it felt really good to get it. It felt like all the hard work paid off, so I was really excited.”

Before the opportunity to play for the Boilermakers presented itself, Colmery was considering offers from Colgate, North Dakota State and Central Michigan.

“I respected all the other schools, they all had great opportunities,” said Colmery. “I would have gladly gone to any of them. But with Purdue being in the Big Ten and being a great school with a great football tradition, it was just something I could not pass up. It was kind of like a no-brainer for me.”

According to Nazareth coach Tim Racki, Purdue is getting just the type of player it needs to turn around fortunes, which have been dismal lately.

“It is a great offer,” said Racki. “They came in and gave him the eye test, and after watching his film, the head coach (Darrell Hazell) and recruiter thought he would be the perfect fit for their system. Because he has great film (from) this year.

“He really did not think it was going to happen. So for this to happen, with how hard he has been working (is great). He is a real modest, humble kid. I am really happy for him and his family.”

Junior offensive guard Mike Owens goes up against Colmery frequently in practice and can attest to how hard his teammate works on the field.

“He leads all the linemen and everyone on the team,” said Owens, a Western Springs resident who attended St. John of the Cross with Colmery before coming to Nazareth. “He leads by example in practice, too, by hitting and just drilling kids. Everyone follows it (his example) during practice.”

Owens is also looking forward to continuing in the postseason, after the Roadrunners (8-2) advanced by beating Brooks 37-13 Saturday night.

“We have to just keep fighting and each day is like our last to fight,” Owens said. “We just have to go out there and play our hardest.”

Colmery was a sophomore brought up to varsity when Nazareth reached the quarterfinals in 2011, but he did not see the field during the playoffs. He is going to take advantage of the chance, realizing that his high school career is nearing the end.

“I like playing under pressure and it is win or go home, so it is kind of a big deal,” said Colmery. “This is definitely a cool experience now that we get to play in the playoffs and get to play against an undefeated team on our home field. We are definitely real excited.”

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