By DOUG DONNELLY
An official visit was all it took for Alec Muck to settle on Central Michigan University as the place he wants to play football next season.
The Sand Creek senior and two-time Daily Telegram Offensive Player of the Year verbally committed to CMU in late January and officially committed last week. He won’t be on scholarship but received a preferred walk-on status, meaning he has a spot on the roster and could earn a scholarship at some point in the future.
“It’s a dream come true,” Muck said. “I went up there and it just felt like home. The culture, the way everyone cares about everyone, that’s what sold me.”
Muck will be the latest in a long line of recent Lenawee County athletes to have the opportunity to play Division I athletics. He was a four-year varsity football player for the Aggies, rushing for 1,504 yards as a sophomore and 1,492 this past season. He closed his career with a Sand Creek record 4,166 yards rushing and 72 career touchdowns. He was a three-time All-Tri-County Conference choice.
He proved to be a durable back for the Aggies this season, rarely leaving the field. He carried the ball 193 times, passed for three touchdowns and caught three passes. He was a dangerous kick and punt returner and had four interceptions on defense.
Muck said the Chippewa coaching staff has talked with him about red-shirting his freshman season, which would give him four years of eligibility starting in 2020.
“My first year, they see me as returning kicks, but if I red-shirt, they said they want me to work on being a slot receiver,” Muck said. “That’s an option. They want to see how I come in and perform against the other guys. They want me up there with them as soon as possible.”
Muck has worked with Legacy Football for a couple of years, going on recruiting visits and honing his football skills. He played in an All-Star game in Brighton on the same weekend as the prep football state finals and during the summer of 2018 he embarked on a week-long bus tour with other college prospects to work out for college football coaches. It was then that he ran a 4.3 in the 40-yard dash, a fete that instantly put him on a lot of schools’ recruiting lists.
“I had a few Division 2 schools offer and a lot of D3 offers from just about every school around here,” he said. “There were some Division I schools telling me I would be a preferred walk-on, but those spots fill up so quick. If I wasn’t able to make a visit that weekend, that offer wouldn’t stay on the table.”
Central Michigan has non-conference games next season at Wisconsin and at the Miami (Fla). The Chippewa’s went 1-11 last season.
Muck, who already is a five-time state champion in track, said he had some options to run track in college, but football won out.
“I had a few options, but my passion is football,” he said. “It’s always been football. That’s what I want to do. I’m still going to run track this spring for Sand Creek, but I wanted to play football in college.”