Tommy Mister has been feeling the heat from various news outlets since his much publicized transfer from Richards High School to St. Rita High School last December. So much so that his parents decided the best option for the 2014 quarterback/athlete would be to shut it down for a few months.
“Because of the transfer all the reporters in my area were trying to figure out what was going on,” Mister said. “A lot of ESPN and Rivals guys wanted to talk to me about the transfer too and they kept calling and calling – it was crazy. So my mom and dad told me to give the media a rest for a while.”
“I moved out of Richards’ district,” he continued. “So it was either go to TF South and play Richards in the playoffs or go to a Catholic school. I was going to go to St. Rita coming out of eighth grade anyway, so I was familiar with the school and it seemed like a good fit.”
If you’re a St. Rita fan the fit is perfect, with the biggest issue moving forward being where the coaching staff will play the 6-foot-1, 190-pounder at next season. He’s played quarterback, running back, and wide receiver for Richards last year, so the possibilities are endless.
“I don’t know yet,” Mister stated about what position he’ll play his senior year. “I do know that Coach (Todd) Kuska wants the ball in my hands to make plays. Whatever I can do to get us wins, that’s what I’m going to do.”
“I’ll probably end up playing multiple positions,” he continued. “We meet sometimes to go over the offense and it looks like we’re going to run some spread with speed option and that type of stuff. They’re used to running the I formation, so coach is going to switch it up to try and get myself and our other athletes out in space.”
Sounds like a formula for success and one that will also be put into action when the Lansing, Ill. product reaches the next level. In fact, of the seven schools that have offered him a scholarship, only a pair want him to be the signal-caller. For Mister though, being the man in charge isn’t what it’s all cracked up to be and is not a must for wherever he ends up playing.
“I’m just one of those guys who wants the ball so I can score some touchdowns,” Mister explained about what position he wants to play in college. “The only two schools that have offered me as a quarterback are Ball State and Illinois. The other schools want me to play a little running back and slot receiver just like (NFL player) Percy Harvin. They also want me to return kicks and get me in situations where I have the ball in space.”
“I do like Illinois, but I don’t know if I really want to play quarterback,” he continued. “I just want to play multiple skilled positions - I don’t want to be stuck at QB.”
That’s good news for the Irish, who offered him as an athlete and plan to use him the way he hopes to be used. Although there were rumors swirling around about Notre Dame falling out of favor with Mister, he still likes them even though they’ve slipped out of his top slot.
“They’re in my top three right now,” Mister said of the Irish. “Iowa State is #1, Illinois is #2, and Notre Dame is #3.”
He’s still in continued contact with Notre Dame assistant coach Chuck Martin, but there’s nothing in the books right now in terms of a spring visit. That doesn’t mean it won’t happen, it just hasn’t been set in stone.
“I don’t have anything planned yet,” Mister stated about visiting South Bend. “I actually have to get in contact with Coach Martin again about that - I talked to him two weeks ago about coming in for the spring game. We really caught up on a bunch of things including the transfer. I’ll talk to him again soon to set everything up.”
He’s been on campus multiple times already and has learned much about what Notre Dame has to offer, but there’s still one giant piece of the puzzle that’s missing.
“I haven’t met all the coaches yet and I really want to get to know all of them,” Mister explained. “Everywhere I’ve been I’ve met the head coach, but I haven’t met Coach (Brian) Kelly yet. That’s been disappointing for me - I’ve been on campus four or five times and I haven’t met him.”
“A lot of recruits say they don’t meet him until their senior year,” he continued. “I talked to some other Notre Dame recruits and they said he doesn’t talk to you unless there is a chance that you’re going to commit - that’s a downside for me.”
It may be the more colleges he visits and head coaches he meets, the less chance Mister has of committing to the Irish. Case in point – just last week he liked a head coach so much it almost made him forget the conference they play in.
“I went to Western Michigan last weekend,” Mister said. “I like the new head coach there a lot - he’s a real fiery guy and was really cool. I know they play in the MAC and that’s holding me back from really falling in love with the school.”
He has big plans for the rest of the spring and after seeing Illinois and Ball State, he has a few more places on his radar.
“I’m going to Iowa State this weekend,” Mister stated. “I’m going to try and get to Kansas soon as well. I may also visit Boston College, Syracuse, and most definitely Minnesota.”
He originally planned to make give his verbal commitment in June, but with the offers slowly piling up it looks as if that deadline could be pushed back.
“The plan is still for me to make a decision this summer,” Mister explained. “But I highly doubt that’s going to happen. With the number of colleges that have shown interest lately I may end up waiting a little longer. I think I might want to make a couple of official visits too.”
“I really wanted to make my decision before summer camp starts so I could just get it out of the way and be done with it,” he continued. “But if it doesn’t I’ll just make my decision after my senior season is over. My family would be fine with me waiting it out and seeing how things fall into place.”