Tanner Motz went into his junior season wanting to improve his play-making ability on the football field.
The St. Johns linebacker felt his improved speed and increased dedication to film helped him do just that.
That set things in motion for a big junior season, and also on the recruiting trail for Motz.
And it ultimately resulted in Motz recently making a verbal commitment to coach P.J. Fleck and Western Michigan.
The 6-foot-2, 215-pound Motz, who is rated a three-star prospect by Scout.com, verbally committed to the Broncos’ 2017 recruiting class Saturday while on an unofficial visit. Motz chose the Broncos over offers from Miami (Ohio), Toledo, Central Michigan and Buffalo.
“I’ve been to Western several times and it’s just the place for me,” said Motz, who visited the school twice last week. “The hard-working mentality and the energy of all the players and coaches is what I’m looking for in a school. I just think the coaches there will be able to develop me into the best player I can be, and prepare me for life after football at the same time.”
Western’s success under Fleck, which included ending last season with the first bowl victory in program history, also helped. The Broncos have won eight games in back-to-back seasons under Fleck.
“That plays a pretty big factor,” Motz said. “They are definitely headed in the right direction. I think they are going to be a winning program in the future. I want to be a part of that.”
Western Michigan offered Motz a few months ago after a junior season where he registered more than 91 tackles and 13 for loss. Motz earned Associated Press Division 3-4 honorable mention all-state honors for his success and helped the Redwings to an 8-4 record that included a Division 3 district title.
“They said they definitely liked not just my athleticism, but how I play and how I run down the ball carrier,” Motz said. “(They also like) the physicality I play with and just the heart I play with.”
The commitment to Western fulfills Motz’s longtime desire of continuing his football career in college. He realized it was something that could be possibility when he received college attention as a freshman.
“Ever since I was young I dreamed about playing in college,” Motz said. “Freshman year and after that by going to camps, I got my first offer from Toledo. That’s really when I knew I could actually make it happen. After that I just kept working hard and I’m where I want to be now.”
Contact Brian Calloway at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @brian_calloway.