After getting a late start, Lincoln-Way West’s Josh Veldman commits to Northwestern. ‘It escalated into a passion.’


Lincoln-Way West’s Josh Veldman wasn’t too into sports as a young kid. After playing baseball in first and second grade, he gave that up and did not compete on any teams until seventh grade.

That’s when Veldman decided to give football a shot. It was the sport that stuck.

“Some friends got me interested in it and kind of talked me into trying football,” Veldman said. “Then it escalated into a passion.

“It’s the team, the physicality of it, the mental toughness. I can’t really explain it, but there’s just something about it.”

Veldman, a junior linebacker, will be able to continue to pursue his passion in college. He recently committed to Northwestern.

“There’s obviously a lot of things I love about it,” Veldman said. “It’s a great education. The people there — the hospitality when I got there was amazing, and just listening to all the coaches talk and seeing them practice opens up your eyes.

“Hearing coach (David) Braun speak, I just want to play for him.”

Veldman’s decision wrapped up a whirlwind few months. His recruitment had gone a bit slowly until things took off in January and February. He had offers from eight Division I schools, including Cincinnati and Iowa State, but was hearing from plenty of others before deciding on the Wildcats.

Lincoln-Way West coach Luke Lokanc told Veldman to be prepared for things to pick up in the new year, following the transfer portal window and bowl season, but nothing could quite get him ready for the onslaught of interest he suddenly received.

“I was trying to be patient and then things got hectic, but I’m not going to complain about it,” Veldman said. “I liked taking it all in. It was a fun experience, and I’m glad it happened.

“It’s been a dream of mine since I’ve been playing football to go Division I and play at the highest…

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Author : Chicago Tribune

Publish date : 2024-03-28 17:34:00

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