Fifteen months ago, Battle Creek Harper Creek two-way lineman Kelby Latta appeared on his way to becoming one of the more highly recruited prospects in the state of Michigan's 2012 class, but so far that has not come to fruition.
"Everything has slowed way down, but I am trying to worry about getting myself a state championship more than college right now," Latta said.
The 6-4, 295-pound Latta used a dominant performance at Wisconsin's summer camp before his junior year to earn an offer from the Badgers. Offers from Michigan State and Western Michigan followed soon after, but all those have since evaporated. Wisconsin's offer dematerialized due to a lack of a foreign language credit, and Western Michigan filled up on scholarships after a miscommunication.
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"They thought I was not interested because I lost my computer and didn't get back to them on email, so I guess they ended up giving my scholarship away," Latta said of Western Michigan. "They said after watching some game film they might try to open up another scholarship if at all possible.
Latta is trying to rekindle Western Michigan's interest, and plans a visit to Kalamazoo this weekend. He has also attended game at Central Michigan and Division II Grand Valley State this fall. A trip to Purdue is being planned for early November, and Latta hopes that produces some traction toward an offer from the Boilermakers.
"I haven't really talked to them, other than to just check in and see how things are going," Latta said. "Hopefully when I go down there I will pick up an offer or talk to them a little more about an offer."
After an injury-plagued junior season, Latta has been 100 percent for the entirety of his senior campaign. He is playing offensive tackle and defensive end for Harper Creek, and leads them into the playoffs with a perfect 9-0 record.
"You can definitely feel that it is the playoffs in practice," Latta said. "Everybody has a little more attitude about themselves and a little more swagger."
Latta finished the regular season third on the team in tackles from his defensive end position, and added eight sacks and three forced fumbles despite playing only half the game in several blowouts.