When Tommy Lorincz got around Ball State’s football program, he got a familiar feeling.
Much like Avon High, the Cardinals felt like a close-knit group, leading the junior offensive lineman to make his commitment Sunday. Ball State was one of numerous Division I programs recruiting Lorincz, who said he was also considering offers from Eastern Michigan, Toledo, Akron and Bowling Green.
“I really loved all the schools I visited,” Lorincz said. “Most of the coaches played for Ball State and then came back to coach there, which shows they loved it so much. I really liked the campus. I got to meet some of the players, mostly offensive linemen, they were all practicing hard and had a respect for each other and a really good sense of family.”
Lorincz was a starter for an offensive line that helped produce 4,226 yards rushing and two 1,000-yard rushers in 2018 — quarterback Ryan Maloy and Nick Perusek, who ran for 1,274 yards and 14 touchdowns. Mark Steinmetz also enjoyed the benefits of Lorincz and company to the tune of 887 yards and 12 touchdowns.
Through the air, Maloy was able to guide Avon’s high-flying offense with 2,049 passing yards and 25 touchdowns.
“He obviously was blessed with tremendous size,” Avon coach Mike Elder said of Lorincz. “But what’s most impressive about him is that he’s been a tireless worker. He always showed up, went to speeds, went to lifting. Probably nobody has a better work ethic.
“I’m so happy for him because he took his God-given talent and worked so hard to turn it into being a great football player for us and a legitimate Division I football player.”
Lorincz said he’s become a better pass blocker during him time with the Eagles and wants to continue developing his speed and footwork during his senior year, in addition to building strength in the weight room.
With his commitment out of the way, he can focus on enjoying his final season with Avon and help the program continue its success. The Eagles won their second straight Division II, Region 6 championship last year and advanced to the state semifinals, losing to eventual champion Hoban and finishing with a 12-2 record. They were 8-1 in the Southwestern Conference, sharing the title with Avon Lake.
“The recruiting process was pretty fun, but it was also pretty stressful,” Lorincz said. “It’s kind of nice to have it over with. I’m just excited for my senior season and then excited to start playing college football.”
The scariest part for opponents of Avon and, eventually, Ball State could be that Lorincz is already 6-foot-5 and 295 pounds and turns 17 years old this summer. That means he still has room to grow.
“That’s what colleges love about him, they know there’s even more upside,” Elder said. “I’m excited for him. I think he’s going to be really, really good at the college level and have an outstanding senior year for us.”