Kevin Wilkins felt he could have won a New Jersey wrestling state title, but a tough call led to a triple-overtime loss in the semifinals and eventually a fourth-place finish, but the 6-foot-4, 275-pounder from St. Joseph High School in Montvale, N.J. is still proud of his effort and is motivated for next season.
“I’m preseason number one next year,” said Wilkins.
Now that wrestling season is finished, the 2014 lineman can turn his attention back to recruiting. Wilkins currently has offers from Rutgers, Boston College, Connecticut, Temple and Maryland with serious interest from several others.
He’s excited for the opportunity to focus on recruiting again with the help of St. Joseph offensive line coach Augie Hoffman, who played at Boston College.
“It’s going to be good,” he said. “Coach Hoffman always tells me to just enjoy it and not get stressed out. He says it comes and goes and to try to enjoy it. He tells me to take the experience and roll with it and have fun with it. Don’t get too tense about who offered me and who wants me. He said just to enjoy it as much as I can because soon I’ll be making my choice and I’ll be happy with it either way.
“He said to be careful, stay humble and go with the flow and not try to push something that’s not going to be there.”
Wilkins isn’t sure if he’ll end up on offense or defense in college.
“Honestly, I don’t know,” he said. “I know Temple’s offensive line coach really likes me, so I guess they offered me on offense, but they’ve also said they could put me on the defensive side of the ball. Every recruiter says defense, but some say offense and defense. I don’t know what I’m going to play, I know I’m playing both ways this year, so I guess we’ll see.”
He’ll be hitting the road soon.
“I’m actually going on a couple of visits with my friends this weekend,” said Wilkins. “I’m going to Rutgers, we might make a stop by Penn State. I just got an offer from Temple the other night. I’m going to be going on a bunch of visits now that wrestling is over.”
Wilkins will be joined this weekend by 2014 teammates Kiy Hester and Quai Jefferson and 2015 lineman Tommy Hatton.
“It’s fun because all of the guys have the same interest,” said Wilkins. “Kiy and I were talking about going to school together.
“Being close with those guys makes the recruiting process so much easier because you’re always hanging out with them. It’s just an unbreakable bond. It’s cool to have your brothers there.”
Hatton is planning to camp at Notre Dame this summer and Wilkins says he might join him. He hasn’t had much contact with the Irish since Notre Dame assistant Bob Diaco stopped by the school a couple months ago, but Wilkins said he’s “definitely” interested in Notre Dame.