Battle Creek (Mich.) Harper Creek lineman Kelby Latta used a couple strong summer camp appearances as catalysts for his first two scholarship offers of the recruiting process. The 6-4, 300-pound prospect has since added one more, and is receiving interest from several schools.
Wisconsin and Michigan State extended Latta scholarship offers before his junior season. Western Michigan has also offered.
"Those are the only three at this time," Harper Creek head coach Ed Greenman reported. "Purdue was in about a month ago and the [coach] said… "The new rule is we cannot offer anymore until your senior year, but after watching your film you don't have anything to worry about. The thing with that is, the coach who was in ended up leaving Purdue.
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"There were a handful of schools that came in [last month]. Penn State has been through here already and just sent me something the other day to get film on Kelby from his junior year. Syracuse has come in and I got a transcript request here from Stanford."
Latta has not been able to get out on the junior day circuit yet this winter, and he has stayed pretty low key about the recruiting process according to Greenman. Michigan State and Wisconsin have certainly helped their chances, though, by being the first in with offers.
"He's definitely keeping all his options ahead of him," Greenman said. "He's been very happy with Wisconsin and Michigan State, and both staffs have done a nice job recruiting him. With them being in so early, they definitely have a leg up on other people, but I don't think he's made his mind up by any means at this point in time."
Although summer camp appearances produced scholarship offers, Latta's primary goal was development so that he could have a productive junior season. Those plans were interrupted, however, by a couple unexpected setbacks.
"He hurt his foot early and missed a few games because of that. Then, he had a shoulder problem towards the end of the season," Greenman said. "It was not the type of junior year he nor I were planning on, but it wasn't because of lack of effort or desire. I think he has a lot to prove going into his senior year because he didn't feel like he had a good junior year due to being nicked up a little bit."
Greenman will be looking forward to a healthy Latta as a senior, because the 300-pound lineman can be a force on both lines.
"His motor runs, he is hard-nosed, gets after it and has a lot of spunk in him," Greenman said. "That's the thing that the schools like about him the most is he definitely goes to the echo of the whistle. I think they see that toughness on both sides of the ball with him."
Latta could also project to either side of the football in college, but the prevailing thought is he will eventually play interior offensive line at the next level.
"I don't know if he is going to be fast enough to play defensively, though I think that will probably be his preference," Greenman said. "Because of his height I don't think he is going to be a tackle, but guard or maybe even center [is likely]."