This has been quite a year for Joe McNamara. The past seven months have been filled with many ups and downs.
On Saturday night, nearly eight months after he originally committed to attend Stanford, the 6-2, 280-pound offensive and defensive lineman finally had reason to smile again.
“I made my decision,” McNamara said. “I am going to Wisconsin.”
With those words, the rollercoaster year took a huge swing upwards, and it put an end to a recruiting campaign that had many twists and turns along the way.
For this gifted three year Cypress Bay standout, who began his career at Chaminade-Madonna, everything was going along smoothly after his decision to head west and play for the Cardinal. But then came a season-ending injury before the season ever began, and then the questions about his future.
While schools such as Wake Forest, FIU, FAU and Marshall had kept in touch with McNamara, Stanford slowly pulled away and put this impressive athlete back on the decision making trail.
As he recovered from the knee surgery, McNamara kept his options open, never closing any doors. When Wisconsin came into the picture, McNamara was eager to see how he would fit into the improving Badger program.
With family still living in Iowa, where his parents grew up, weather was not going to be a factor. What McNamara was looking for was a school that would provide strong academics and a chance to play. The Badgers fit all the things he had been searching for.
“All those schools who had me on campus, I cannot thank them enough,” McNamara said. “I really appreciate the way they never stopped recruiting me through this entire process.”
McNamara joins former youth football (Pasadena Lakes) teammates James White, the gifted St. Thomas Aquinas running back who committed to Wisconsin a few weeks back.
McNamara is the second Cypress Bay lineman to commit. Alex Tucci made his verbal decision to attend Colorado State during the season.
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