NFL still in Recker’s dreams
by Jim Metcalfe
Delphos (OH) Herald
July 31, 2006
HILLSDALE, Mich. — Keith Recker has decided to take his dreamt-of trek to the National Football League one step at a time.
He hopes that step one has already been completed with the recent finish of his first United Indoor Football League season with the Fort Wayne Freedom.
The Delphos native, son of Steve “Peanut” and Lisa Recker, is looking to parlay this season into at least the Arena Football League.
“I know I have to build my resume for the NFL. I’d like to get that opportunity but I have to build up to it,” Recker acknowledged. “I think I tried to take things too quickly last spring; that’s what I was working for.”
Having to play in the UIFL became a source of frustration to the 2002 St. John’s graduate.
“Before the season, I was doing a lot of stuff, like getting information out. My agent sent me some information and I was supposed to go to Detroit to work out but that didn’t happen; he didn’t have the pull he thought he did,” Recker said. “I’m working on getting a new agent based out of Columbus. He’s going to be sending films to the Arena League, especially the Columbus Destroyers.
“The good thing that I have now for Arena League or Arena 2 is I have some indoor films to send them. I didn’t have that from college.”
He’s hoping that the time from August to October, despite coaching wide receivers at Hillsdale College, where he completed his college career last fall, will be productive.
“I hope to be attending a couple of combines and camps for college free agents and try to get some notice and recognition. I know I need to work on running my routes,” he continued. “That’s what I worked on from the time I graduated from Hillsdale until now. Hopefully, coaching will help me do that. I will be learning the same stuff I’ll be teaching. That should help me pick things up quicker.
“Plus, I’ll be able to work out with these guys in the weight room.”
Another one of Recker’s goals for the offseason is to get faster.
“You don’t realize how much the game speeds up from college to even the UIFL. In AFL 1, it’s all man-to-man coverage,” he explained. “With my size, if I can improve my speed, that will be to my advantage. I also would need to learn to play the Jack linebacker position in Arena play since they go both ways. I worked with a guy who played quarterback and he told me that would be my best chance to get into Arena.”
Recker had to make a few adjustments to play in the UIFL.
“I had to play wide receiver, so I had to make the adjustment from tight end. There is no tight end in Indoor play,” he added. “Getting used to being split out wide all the time took some time. One of the big differences between the UIFL and Arena Football is I didn’t have to play defense here. All I had to do was play receiver. They put together some teams from Arena 2 and other leagues and that was one of the different rules they came up with.
“People don’t realize that there are some talented players in Indoor play. Rocky Harvey was all-Big Ten first-team at Illinois a couple of years ago. Even though it’s not the NFL, it’s still a big adjustment as far as speed goes. There’s a lot of talented players out there looking for the same thing I am; a break.”
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