Airon Servais ate a lot of peanut butter sandwiches this year in bulking up his 6-foot-6, 275-pound frame.
The Ashwaubenon senior’s new favorite food might be oranges.
Servais received a scholarship offer and made a verbal commitment to the Syracuse University football team on Tuesday.
According to Syracuse.com, Servais is the first recruit to commit to the Orange since Dino Babers was announced as the program’s new head coach on Monday.
Servais earned first-team all-Fox River Classic Conference honors this year playing left tackle in the Jaguars’ spread offense, which averaged 407.2 yards per game to rank second in the conference.
Servais had received 15 NCAA Division I scholarship offers, including from Babers’ previous post as head coach at Bowling Green.
Babers successfully recruited former Ashwaubenon quarterback James Morgan to Bowling Green last year. Morgan served as a backup this year for the Falcons, who won the Mid-American Conference title game last Friday.
“Since I started the recruiting process, Bowling Green and Babers were one of the very first teams to show interest,” Servais said. “Since then, our relationship only got stronger.”
That’s been the same case for Servais over the past year as he went from being a backup linebacker at the start of his junior season to a hot commodity on the recruiting trail entering his senior year.
“He was 6-1 and 150 (pounds) as a freshman,” Ashwaubenon football coach Mark Jonas said before the season.
“He was tall and skinny. Then he grew a little bit and played a lot of linebacker his sophomore year. (Junior) year, he’s 6-4 and 225. He wanted to play (linebacker), but we were wavering between offensive line and that.”
An injury on the offensive line late in the 2014 season ultimately forced Servais to step in at center and start the final five games there.
Along with his play, Servais’ growing size caught the attention of plenty of college coaches leading up to his senior season.
“How can you project a kid to get that big? But he did,” Jonas said. “He ate like eight peanut butter sandwiches a day plus meals and lifting weights. He just got big and went to a couple camps and people were like, ‘Holy cow, look at this kid.’”
Servais is the fourth area offensive linemen from the Class of 2016 to verbally commit to a DI program. Bay Port’s Cole Van Lanen (Wisconsin) Luxemburg-Casco’s Spencer Kanz (Western Michigan) and Shawano’s Ezekiel Gueths (Northern Illinois) are the others.
email@example.com follow him on Twitter @andrewpekarek.