Boiler Target Pledges Michigan

QB John Wienke

A year ago, John Wienke was a small-town quarterback with the hopes of receiving a scholarship offer from a 1-AA school, now the 6-foot-5, 215-pounder, from Tuscola, Ill. is getting ready to play his senior season as a verbal commitment to the University of Michigan.

"I'm committed to Michigan," John Wienke told the Boiler Sports Report.

"My voice is sore. I did a lot of interviews. I really didn't see any of this coming. I just gained a lot of self-confidence this spring and summer during camps.

"Once I realized that I can play football at the highest level and I could compete with the rest of the elite quarterbacks in the country, things started to fall in place."

To say things fell into place would be a bit of an understatement. Wienke comes from a school that has 275 students, in a town that's just a stones throw away from Champaign-Urbana, the home of the Fighting Illini of Illinois.

There are a ton of Illini fans in Central Illinois. We asked Wienke if he got an earful from friends and residents of Tuscola about announcing he'll play his college ball at Michigan.

"I got the occasional question asking me why I didn't want to play at Illinois or Indiana." Wienke said. "I just had to follow my heart," he added.

"When I went to Michigan, I fell in love with the place. Michigan felt like home to me. The coaches were great to me and I just got along with everyone. I made the right decision."

It's obvious that Wienke has no fear of competition. He knew all too well of who's going to be waiting for him once he arrives in Ann Arbor. Think of John Wienke as the football version of "Tin Cup".

"Look, nobody thought I would ever get a scholarship offer from the likes of a Michigan." Wienke said.

"Look at me. I'm a small-school quarterback from a small-town in Central Illinois. I'm not afraid of competition. I've had to compete all spring and summer to get noticed and earn my scholarship offers.

"I could've gone to a school and been the guy for four years but I didn't want to do that. I wanted to go to a national power like Michigan and if I have to wait a few years to get my shot, I'll wait.

" Having said that, people don't know how competitive I am. Maybe I can beat Ryan Mallett out? People really don't know what I'm made of."

Wienke chose Michigan over offers from Purdue, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Colorado State and several other programs. John told us that he plans on majoring in agriculture business or sports management at Michigan.

To put the icing on the cake, Wienke was selected as one of the EA Sports "Elite 11" quarterbacks.

"I found out last Thursday about being selected to the "Elite 11". Wienke said. "It's quite an honor. I get to go out and show that I belong and can compete. It should be a real good time."

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