ROCHESTER, Minn. — Jack Studer didn’t need any help on the football field. He put up video-game-like numbers on the gridiron as a senior and helped Dover-Eyota win eight games in 2018. Studer hauled in 73 receptions for 1,536 yards and 16 touchdowns that season.

But he couldn’t navigate the wild world of recruiting alone.

Enter his older brother, Garrett.

Garrett Studer is a sports junkie who played three sports at Dover-Eyota before graduating in 2016. He was the starting quarterback for the Eagles’ football team and a four-year varsity letter-winner in basketball.

Garrett is a basketball coach for the Minnesota Lightning, a Rochester-based AAU program. He lives and breathes the world of recruiting.

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Garrett knew how good his younger brother was. So he got right to work getting him in touch with colleges around the area. It didn’t take long for Jack Studer’s recruitment to pick up. The film spoke for itself and many programs were interested. Even the University of Wisconsin hosted Studer for a game-day visit.

But the bright lights of the Big Ten weren’t that appealing to Studer. He didn’t want to be a glorified tackling dummy. He wanted to play.

“The Wisconsin visit was nothing like any of my other visits,” Studer said. “It was so nerve-racking. Seeing that one was so much more to take in. It was awesome, but it just didn’t seem right for me. Looking back, I definitely made the right decision. I was definitely looking for playing time where you work hard and could get out on the field in the first year or two. And also for me, I didn’t want it to be super far away.”

He found his home at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. UWL has won at least seven games in each of the past three years, and Studer fell in love with the campus and the coaching staff on a visit.

“I was very unsure on what I wanted to go, but I went on a visit there and every single coach was super friendly,” Studer said. “You could tell that they wanted to win and they wanted you to become a better player. It was a good place for me.”

Studer played in three of UWL’s first five games before suffering a bad hip injury that ripped away the rest of his freshman year. But he made the right choice. His recovery went smoothly and he’s back to 100 percent. He has his sights set on earning a starting wide receiver job in 2020.

“I am enjoying UWL a lot,” Studer said. “Every coach at UWL, they want to be your friend and get to know you for real. I really appreciated that.”

It would’ve been easy for Studer to fall in love with the appeal of the Big Ten and go to Wisconsin as a preferred walk-on. But that’s just not what he wanted. And finding the right fit is the key to a happy life after signing on the dotted line.

“You have to go there and see it for yourself,” Studer said. “I’m glad I went to Wisconsin and found out that’s not what I wanted. You have to know what’s right for you.”