Brownsburg, Ind., athlete Chase Dutra spent Tuesday on the campus of Ball State University meeting with their coaching staff, but it was another MAC program that delivered Dutra his biggest news of the day.
"My dad sent me a text saying Coach [Lou] Esposito at Western Michigan wanted me to call him," Dutra said. "So, while I was at Ball State I stepped outside for a second and called him. Right off the bat he said, 'I wanted to let you know we were offering.' Right as he said those words it hit me and I thought, 'Wow, this just happened.'
"All the hard work you put into everything and all the early mornings you get up to work out and run, it's all started to pay off. I finally got my first offer and it hit me right in the face. It was a great feeling and I just thank God for it. I was blessed, my family - we're all thankful for it. It's a huge relief because now I have my first offer. It was definitely an exciting day."
Article Continues Below
Dutra had just returned from an unofficial visit to Western Michigan this past weekend, so he has a familiarity with the program and coaching staff.
"The facilities were nice, the coaches were really cool and all had personalities, joked around a lot," Dutra said. "I liked them and felt they had a lot of knowledge of the game. It's not that far from home and it was nice being up there."
After receiving news of the offer from Western Michigan, Dutra then went back in and continued his visit with Ball State.
"I felt like they had a little more interest in me after they found out I had the [Western Michigan] offer," Dutra said. "They told me they were going to sit down, check out my film and have a meeting, so I feel they might come onto me real soon here."
Dutra had been receiving attention from schools throughout the Midwest prior to receiving his first offer. Two in-state Big Ten schools have been among the most interested, and visits to both schools are happening this month.
"I was at IU last week and the week before for some practices," Dutra said. "Me and Coach [Kevin] Johns talk a lot and Coach Wilson I've had a chance to talk to. They told me they won't be offering until they get a chance to see me in camp this summer. My team goes there for a three-day camp every year. They like me, love how I am in-state, but just want to see me in person.
"I am going to Purdue [Wednesday]. I didn't think [their interest] was high until recently when Coach [Greg] Brookey from Warren Central told me that they have been contacting him a lot, asking him a lot of questions about me. He put in some good words for me and let them know that I was the real deal and have a BCS-type body.
"They seem really interested and me and Coach [Donn] Landholm have talked quite a bit recently. I feel like me and Purdue will probably heat up here in a little bit and the interest will start to pick up."
The 6-2, 200-pound Dutra has the ability to play on either side of the ball in college. The offer from Western Michigan is initially for the safety position, though wide receiver was also discussed as a possible spot for him in the future as well.