Monroe Central's C.J. Wise is preparing for a MAC attack.
Veteran Seminoles head coach Jay Circosta announced Monday that Wise, a mainstay lineman at Monroe Central, will be a 'preferred' walk-on this summer at Kent State University.
"After shopping around and weighing some options, C.J. advised me (enrolling at Kent State) is the route he wanted to go," Circosta related. "Not only is C.J. a very good student (3.5 GPA), he's a student of the game."
His status as a preferred walk-on enables Wise to report at the same time as all Golden Flashes' roster players and incoming recruits later this year.
"After speaking with coaches there, the consensus seems to be C.J. will have every opportunity to earn a permanent roster spot," Circosta added. "(They're) especially impressed with C.J.'s size (6-6, 240) and feel he has an excellent chance to enhance his development in a more structured program in terms of strength and conditioning."
Wise was a load for all Seminole opponents on both sides of the line where he played an integral role in the team's penchant for annual success. "We used C.J. at center three seasons before asking him to fill an important role at left tackle," Circosta revealed."
On the defensive side, Wise was a constant physical presence both as a pass rusher and run-stop artist. "C.J. was third in tackles last season and led us in stops for negative yardage. He also recorded six QB sacks," Circosta reported. "He always came to play and set a good example for the younger players coming up in our system."
Circosta has spoken with Wise regarding a rigid transition process to Division I football. "It certainly won't be easy by any means," the Wizard of Woodsfield described. "Going into (this-type) atmosphere means you must learn to balance your studies with the every day experience of competing at a high quality level against exceptional athletes."
In 2011, Kent State hired former Ohio State aid Darrell Hazell as head coach. Hazell led the Flashes within one victory of becoming bowl eligible. The Blue & Gold finished strong, winning four of its final five games.
Kent's staff includes defensive coordinator Jon Heacock, a nine-year head coach at Youngstown State and former member of West Liberty's coaching staff during the mid 1980s.
Wise who also lettered in basketball at Monroe Central, is the son of Bob and Shelia Wise of Woodsfield.
Gibson may be reached at email@example.com