In what appears to be the FCS' first verbal commitment of the 2019 recruiting class, highly sought after offensive guard Ben Hoitink of Slinger, Wisc. has decided to come on board with Penn in the Ivy League.
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Penn and the FCS are starting out with a bang, as Hoitink held 17 total Division I offers — six from the FBS and 11 from the FCS. National champion North Dakota State had offered, and he had taken unofficial visits to Minnesota, Iowa and Iowa State — but in the end, Penn won out. The Quakers went into Wisconsin and snagged the No. 5 overall prospect in the Badger State, according to 247Sports.com.
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Family ties played a big role in the early decision to begin the admissions process.
"My interest in the Ivy League got started with my dad playing football at Yale and my sister currently playing soccer at Cornell University," Hoitink told HERO Sports this week. "That league has an outstanding combination of Division I football and world class academic opportunities. My parents and (high school) head coach Bill Jacklin gave me great advice that I would find that right fit and know it when I saw it. Since my first visit to Penn about six weeks ago it went to the top of my list of offers. From that point I compared every other place to Penn."
The 6-foot-4, 312-pound prospect is listed as the No. 43 offensive guard in the nation by 247Sports.com. He went on to praise the campus and facilities, along with The Wharton School — Penn's highly-regarded business school.
The Ivy League is different in how it does "offers". Essentially the schools — which are non-scholarship — are extending the offer to come play, if the student-athlete is admitted to campus. Next year, when Hoitink goes through that process, if he is accepted he would be eligible to play for Penn in the fall of 2019. The Ivy League has routinely won over prospects with FBS and Power 5 offers — including 2018's top FCS commitment Brevin White, a QB heading to Princeton.
Extremely excited!! I am committed to the admissions process to become part of the 18-time Ivy League Champion UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA!! #PennPride #UPrising #CommitToTheFight pic.twitter.com/t0Eol4gtKE
— Ben Hoitink (@ben_hoitink) April 11, 2018
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