Jack Batten wants to make one thing clear.
Class of 2019 defensive lineman Jake Karchinski is just fine in the wake of Iowa State staffer Jim Hofher’s unflattering tweet in response to Karchinski’s Iowa offer.
“He was OK,” the West De Pere High School (Wis.) football coach said. “He is a pretty confident kid. I think it served as a little bit of a motivator.”
Hofher tweeted he was “underwhelmed” by Karchinski’s abilities. It’s a tough situation for a recruit to find himself in, but Batten said Karchinski is handling it well by focusing on the team which offered him, not the one which didn’t.
“Lost a little in this is he picked up a scholarship opportunity from a team he’s really interested in,” Batten said.
Karchinski told Rivals’ Blair Sanderson the Hawkeyes are his top team, shortly after receiving his offer May 7.
Iowa started recruiting Karchinski as a sophomore. He became enamored with the program after a few initial conversations. Batten could tell he liked the program by the way Karchinski mentioned Iowa.
That’s why the Iowa scholarship meant so much.
“He thinks very highly of their coaching staff and the approach that they take,” Batten said.
Karchinski, who didn’t respond to a Land of 10 interview request, is one of 16 2019 defensive linemen to receive an Iowa offer. The Hawkeyes are looking to bring in two or three in the class.
Karchinski is a two-time unanimous first-team all-conference selection, recording 61 tackles and 18 tackles for loss at defensive end in 2017. He holds 14 offers, primarily from non-Power 5 programs.
Batten describes Karchinski as dominant on Friday nights, capable of “taking away one side of the ball on defense.”
“Good with his hands, quick off the football,” Batten said. “Super competitive. Doesn’t like to get beat. Tenacious. Just a real hard-working kid.”
The 6-foot-5, 245-pound Karchinski is best at setting an edge and defending the run. Batten admits his pass rush technique is a work in progress and something Karchinski must improve on this summer.
Karchinski’s ability to pack on more weight and his natural ability in rush defense make him seem like a natural defensive tackle in college, at least to Batten.
“Because he is a three-sport athlete he hasn’t spent an extended time in the weight room,” Batten said. “Six or eight months where he has hit it hard. He has certainly has the ability to carry another 40 or 50 pounds of weight.”
Thirty-two minutes after Karchinski announced his Iowa offer on Twitter, Hofher responded. Batten understands not every college program will like every recruit and the tweet was likely an accident, but wishes Hofher handled the situation differently.
“I was really disappointed to be honest with you,” Batten said. “I had a hard time believing that a grown man was taking a shot at a 17-year-old kid. It might have been a mistake on his part. He might have been trying to send a text instead of a tweet, but we expect our kids to be careful when they are on social media and those same expectations should extend to a college coaching staff.”
Iowa State football coach Matt Campbell called West De Pere principal Russell Gerke and apologized, Batten said.
Everyone is trying to move forward. Karchinski is focusing on his track season and his recruitment.
Iowa is a favorite, but a commitment is far from a sure thing. Syracuse has also offered and Wisconsin visited twice in the last week.
When Karchinski does commit, Batten has a wish. He hopes Karchinski enjoys the moment.
“He’s earned that,” Batten said.