Over the past four seasons, there has been a consistent pipeline from the Wilber-Clatonia football program to the neighboring Doane University football program.
David Zimmerman and Jordan Fikar just completed their senior seasons this past fall, Connor O’Toole will be a senior this upcoming season, Riley Homolka is set to be a junior, and Cooper Bates will be a sophomore – all of which were former Wolverine football players.
Wilber-Clatonia’s signal caller this past fall, Michael Pulliam, will continue that pipeline that those before him built.
The two-sport athlete, who also qualified for state track and field last spring in pole vault, signed a letter of intent to play football for Doane University on Friday at Wilber-Clatonia High School.
With offers from Nebraska Wesleyan and Concordia also on the table, proximity to home and family won out in his decision-making process.
“My family is really important to me and my sister lives in Crete and I have a nephew so I want to be close to him as he grows up,” Pulliam said. “I had a couple of schools that I was looking at. NAIA of course and I felt like Doane was a great fit for me. There offensive scheme rolls perfect with what we’ve used this last season and being close to home is always really important to me because family is a big part of my life.”
At Wilber-Clatonia, Pulliam was featured in an offense that implemented a spread attack at times, which relied on the read option at times when running . That offense is something that Doane runs as well.
The fact made it an easy decision to recruit the quarterback for Doane head coach Chris Bessler.
“He moves well, he’s very athletic. He throws a good ball. Tight spin and that’s exciting. And he’s a student of the game. Very into what’s going on, wants to learn and very eager. So we’re excited to have him,” Bessler said. “We run a spread-type offense. He’ll be back in the shotgun and run zone read type stuff. RPO’s (Run-Pass-Option) out on the edge. It takes a guy at that quarterback spot to be able to read defenses and obviously react quickly.”
Pulliam will enter the Tigers program with a habit of winning. The Wilber native tallied a 16-4 record as a two-year starter with the Wolverines. He passed for 1975 yards, 19 touchdowns, and 15 interceptions during his time under center in high school. During the 2018 season he passed for 1170 yards with a 54 percent completion rate. He also ran for 234 yards on 71 attempts. Pulliam accumulated 18 total touchdowns his senior year.
Bessler mentioned that it will be an open competition at quarterback heading into this upcoming fall. With the loss of his top two quarterbacks, the position will be up for grabs according to the second year head coach.
“We lost our top two quarterbacks from this year. So we’re going to have an open competition like we do every year,” he said.
Pulliam said that he plans to double major in Business Administration and Engineering.