Zane Wise signs to play football at Willamette

Zane Wise signed a letter of intent Friday, May 1, to play football for Willamette University.

Wise signed during a short ceremony at the morning break in the Sweet Home High School library, flanked by his mother and father, Melissa and John Wise, and football coach Rob Younger before a crowd of his fellow players and friends.

Wise, 18, said he picked Willamette because it was fairly close to home, so his family and friends could come to games easily, and because it offers a major that interests him: exercise science.

“I took my visit there and I really liked the campus,” he said.

He also liked the fact that the Bearcats went 10-0 last season before losing in the second round of the NCAA Division III playoffs. Plus, he said, the program can use offensive linemen with his skills.

“They rely on quicker guys instead of guys who can lift a car,” he said.

Wise, 6-2, 260, was Val-Co League Lineman of the Year, first team offensive and defensive line, and MVP of the football team. He was selected to the all-league first team offensive line as a junior.

Younger said the fact that Willamette recruited Wise shows that he is a “well-rounded athlete.” Wise played on the basketball team through his junior season, then switched to wrestling, where he made the state tournament as a first-year wrestler.

“He’s a great athlete for Willamette,” Younger said. “They love the way he can get up and move. They’re very excited about his versatility and athleticism. He can play all the offensive line positions.”

Wise said he believes he will play guard or center at Willamette.

He is the second Sweet Home football player to accept a scholarship offer to play college ball this year, after tight end Josh Riggs signed with Western Oregon.

“Two in a year is about the most we’ve ever had,” Younger said.

“I’m happy that Zane will be able to further his football career at such a great school.”