Otto Hess received the first awakening into his football future during a chute drill his sophomore year.
I wasn’t doing too well, hit my head at the top of the chute, one guy stands at the end anticipating angles and I took a guy off of his feet, said Hess, an Oswego junior. My coach said after that ‘You’re going to get a D1 scholarship’ and I said ‘I’m not even good, I don’t know what you’re talking about.’ He made me believe it was possible.
That coach indeed knew what he was talking about.
Hess, ending a recruitment process that ironically took off the last two months during the state’s stay-at-home order, made his verbal commitment to Boston College on Tuesday.
Hess, a 6-foot-7, nearly 300-pound left tackle, chose Boston College from 20 offers including Minnesota, Purdue, Illinois, Virginia and Western Michigan.
Boston College offered Hess on April 6, among a flurry of scholarship offers since March.
The minute they offered me, I knew they were a top school I was looking at. It was never a question, Hess said. They were always real, helped me with anything I needed, they did more than check all the boxes. It was a perfect fit.
Hess, a three-star recruit and the 27th-ranked player in Illinois’ Class of 2021, received his first Power Five offer on Feb. 19, from Virginia. Things took off from there, even though Indiana is the only Power Five school Hess has met with in person.
I wasn’t negatively affected at all by the lockdown; it might have helped me, Hess said. Coaches had more time to sit down and evaluate film. I think it diversified the recruiting pool. It might have helped kids that normally wouldn’t get a shot.