Vinnie Palazeti was a road warrior this summer, camping in hopes of landing new offers, then visiting the schools he was considering before arriving at his decision to become a Ball State Cardinal recently.
He says the relationship he had with the staff there ended up being one of the deciding factors.
"Really my top three options, I had six offers total, but my top three were Western, Central and Ball State. I visited all of them. Last week, visited I Ball State and Western. I went down, and they were very welcoming. I loved the facilities, but I didn't meet the head coach, so that was wearing on my mind, because I'd like to meet the guy I'll be playing for, but we talked on the phone for 30 minutes. A big key was the weight coach, Coach Feeley. We instantly clicked. He's the guy you see the most out of the position coaches, head coach, but you'll be with the weight coach every day, so it was good we got off to a good start."
Palazeti is a tough, strong lineman who can play a few different spots on the line, and he has spoken to the Cardinals about where he'll start off.
"Coach Tabacca, the O-Line coach, talked to me when I first visited down there. He said they'll try to put the best five people on the line and think that I could be a starter right after my redshirt freshman year, so my second year there, I would be a starter and the most open spot would be right tackle. I think I'm going to be a guard-center type when I'm a junior-senior, but that's the most open spot. Coach said it's much easier to move inside than inside-out, so I can get experience at right tackle then move down, where it's better suited for my body type at guard-center."
It has been quite the year for Palazeti, from winning the state title as a junior, to earning his first offer and watching the list grow to six, to now being committed to an FBS school. He is not letting any of that go to his head, however, and he knows he has others to thank for where he's at.
"It's just a feeling of accomplisment, but I try to be humble with everything I do. I couldn't have done any of it without my parents. They took the time, took me everywhere; my mom was an angel and drove me to all the camps in June, so I'm thankful and staying humble. It wouldn't matter to be going to Alabama or D2, it doesn't matter to me, I'd work just as hard as I've been working, put in all the extra hours, extra effort, and give it all I've got. I'm happy with the decision I made and I'm excited to finish my high school career with a championship."