KALAMAZOO, MICH. — Wednesday marked college football’s National Signing Day, and the fax machine inside the Bill Brown Alumni Football Center at Western Michigan University received its first signed national letter of intent at 7:04 a.m.
That letter was from Buckeye Valley’s Wyatt Pfeifer. The 6-foot-3, 245-pound long snapper woke up at 6 a.m. to fax his pledge to play football for the Broncos from his mother’s storefront in Delaware.
The WMU coaching staff could not have been more excited to receive it.
“Wyatt has the talent and skills to be a four-year starter,” said second-year WMU coach P.J. Fleck at his National Signing Day press conference. “It means a lot that he honored his verbal commitment. He truly believes in something bigger than wins, losses and a logo. That’s what we need to build a true team and a dynasty. We’re building a true program.”
Pfeifer was one of seven players to verbally commit to WMU during an on-campus recruiting visit on July 25, 2013. He said the family atmosphere, stellar football facilities and friendliness of the other recruits were the things he enjoyed about the visit. However, it was the personal relationship he developed with Fleck and the Broncos coaching staff that sold him on the program.
“The coaches stood out, especially Coach Fleck with his enthusiasm,” he said. “As soon as I met him and started talking with him, I knew I wanted to come play for him and the coaching staff. Coach Fleck pressured me into committing. But even right then, I knew this was the place for me. Even after I committed, I felt so confident in my decision. I knew that this was the place for me, and everything happens for a reason.”
Pfeifer was named to the US All-American Bowl in 2013 — an all-star game made up of the the best football players in the nation.
He is rated a “two star” player and ranked as the 10th-best long snapper in the country by 247Sports.com. One of his first duties as a Bronco will be to snap for WMU punter J. Schroeder, an experienced specialist whose 3,056 punt yards were the 22nd most in college football last season. The Broncos will rely on Pfeifer to perform under pressure, play with intelligence and, most importantly, achieve greatness on the field.
“Coming in as a freshman and being able to have the opportunities to snap to a guy like Schroeder is special,” Pfeifer said. “It’s exciting that Coach Fleck and these coaches believed in me to get the job done. It makes me want to work harder knowing that I can’t let these guys down. Their job is dependent on how I perform. I know that if I’m perfect, I put them in a better position to succeed.”
Pfeifer said he’s humbled that his commitment to WMU, and his recent all-star game appearance, has motivated others in the community to achieve their lifelong goals.
“With my recognition in the US Army All-American Bowl, I notice a lot of people reaching outing to me and my family,” he said. “They congratulate me and say how cool that is. How younger kids are looking up to me and telling their parents stuff about me, it’s cool to know I can make an impact on their lives already.”
WMU assistant Luke Getsy was Pfeifer’s primary recruiter during the 2013 football season. Pfeifer also held interest from schools such as Illinois and Wake Forest, among others.