Recker ready to be a Rocket

Calvert linebacker heading to Toledo as preferred walk-on

Josh Recker’s decision wasn’t just about football.

The Calvert standout, who as a linebacker led the Sandusky Bay Conference in tackles and tied for the lead in interceptions last fall, wanted to continue his athletic career.

But he was looking for more than that.

Recker wanted to join a good program. But he also wanted to go to school for mechanical engineering.

The University of Toledo Rockets will allow him to do both.

“So, I was looking at a lot of colleges, those with football programs, and those (without),” Recker said Wednesday night, “There weren’t many that lined up with my interests, and my major, in the academic style of the college, along with the football side of it.

“But once Toledo came up, I love their football program, and I love their mechanical engineering side of it.”

Recker will join the Rockets as a preferred walk on. Recker and Calvert coach Steve Reser said indications were Toledo plans on using Recker at his preferred spot: inside linebacker.

“They like his ability … he’s got a great inside linebacker instinct,” Reser said. “Plus, his natural ability, and on top of that, the physical physique he’s worked himself into, I think they like him in that spot.”

Reser certainly liked Recker in that spot. That’s where he recorded four interceptions, 134 tackles and three sacks last season.

Recker’s pleased, too.

“I’m really happy, because I’ve always been comfortable with that,” he said. “My linebacker coach (Ray Tittle) in high school was really good at teaching me everything about playing at the next level, and all the little details, how detailed it’s going to be.”

Recker’s older brother, Adam, was also a Calvert graduate who played football at the University of Findlay.

“I’m prepared with that, and my brother played college football at linebacker, so I know what it’s gonna take,” Recker said, “and I’m gonna give it what it takes.”

And Reser believes Recker has what it takes to succeed at Toledo.

“When you watch him play, and then you talk to him as a young man, you would never think that he’s a linebacker. Because, when he’s out there on the field, he’s got that killer instinct, that linebacker mentality. Off the field, I mean, he’s a great young man. He’s very respectful. Obviously, he’s got his priorities in order.”

By going to Toledo, Recker will be part of a “Tiffin connection.” The Rockets offensive line coach is Mike Hallett, the former Heidelberg football coach, whose son T.C. played at Columbian.

“I love the Tiffin-Toledo connection,” Recker said. “I’ll definitely be traveling back and forth a lot.”

And though he wants to play linebacker, Recker made it clear he just wants to be on the field, and make an impact.

“Obviously, I’ll do my best to get a starting spot eventually, but I’m gonna really focus on getting on special teams first, getting on the field as much as I can,” he said, “and then eventually working my way, wind up with a scholarship. Those are my goals.”