Michael Jimmar tried to stay positive.
The Plainfield East junior thought college coaches would be more interested in the offensive lineman by the end of his junior year, but he had one scholarship offer from Syracuse.
South Dakota rewarded Jimmar’s patience when coaches visited Plainfield East on Tuesday and offered the offensive lineman his second scholarship.
“I was really happy because I’ve waited patiently and was very humble, trying to make sure I keep my head on straight about only having that one Syracuse offer so far.” Jimmar said. “So I just kept my head on straight, and it made me happy, it boosted up my day.”
Jimmar tried not to get frustrated with the recruiting process, but it became tough. Coaches talked to Jimmar and seemed interested but then things quieted down. That roundabout cycle repeated itself numerous times and Jimmar tried to remain positive.
Syracuse first offered the 6-foot-5, 280-pound lineman at the end of his sophomore season in April. South Dakota came to offer Tuesday and Illinois State gave him his third offer Wednesday.
“I just had to tell myself to stay humble and patient and your time will come.” Jimmar said. “So I waited patiently and just tried to keep my head on straight because I wanted to make sure I didn’t lose myself in the recruiting process.”
Plainfield East head coach Brad Kunz watched Jimmar’s transformation into a dominant offensive lineman and good teammate. Jimmar didn’t start playing on the offensive side until the end of his sophomore season and quickly learned how to dominate on the line.
Kunz, a former offensive lineman at the University of Miami (Fla.), knew Jimmar had all the tools to be a college lineman. Jimmar is athletic, has long arms, quick feet, a strong punch and is violent when doing his job, which makes it difficult to get past him.
Kunz also watched how the junior handled all the adversity of the last couple years because of the COVID-19 pandemic and how he supported his teammates when he missed a game to injury.
“He’s a kid that’s worked really hard to get to this point, and I think the sky’s the limit for him,” Kunz said. “For them to come in and give him an offer was great for him, great for our program. I feel like there are other schools who are looking to take the plunge.”
Jimmar has visits planned with Mid-American Conference schools Miami (Ohio), Northern Illinois and Toledo on the schedule. He’s already visited Illinois and plans to attend the program’s junior day.
Jimmar said he is excited to check out some new campuses, but the offers have also motivated him to work harder in the gym and stay true to his patience.
“It motivated me in a way where you need to be patient, you have to wait, make sure you are not losing yourself with not getting any offers,” Jimmar said. “I felt really good about my offers, which made me motivated to keep working out, keep pushing and get more besides what I have.”