MARBLEHEAD — St. John’s Prep wide receiver Wes Rockett had a senior season to remember this past fall. Rockett, a Marblehead native, caught 54 passes for 889 yards and nine touchdowns, helping the Eagles to a Division 1 state championship. He was named The Daily Item/Agganis Foundation Offensive Player of the Year last month at The Item’s 73rd Annual All-Star Dinner.
Earlier this week, Rockett made his future plans official when he committed to continue his football career at Division I Brown University of the Ivy League.
“It’s very exciting and definitely relieving just to have it all wrapped up,” Rockett, a two-sport athlete who also plays lacrosse, said. “It’s been months of just trying to reach out to people. It’s great to have this wrapped up. Now I can focus on getting ready for lacrosse season. It’s especially relieving because I’m happy with the place I’m going to go. I’m definitely confident in my decision.”
Rockett considered a handful of other Division I programs before making his decision. He said the connection he established with new Bears coach James Perry through the recruiting process played a key role in his commitment.
“I had a few other official visits,” Rockett said. “Once Coach Perry visited me at home, it was game over. He’s everything I want in a coach. They’re going in a great direction. It comes down to whoever really wants you to be a part of the program and whoever shows the most interest. It was Coach Perry, hands down.”
The Bears are coming off a down 2018 season in which they finished at 1-9. They went 0-7 in Ivy League play with their lone win of the season coming against Georgetown. Perry, a former player at Brown, was named the program’s new head coach in December.
“They’ve been struggling recently but hearing Coach Perry’s talk during my official visit and hearing from some of the players, they’re really excited about where the program’s going,” Rockett, who hopes to major in sports psychology or economics, said. “They’re ready to hit the ground running during the winter and into spring ball. Overall everyone’s really pumped about it.
“I think the overall energy from Coach Perry and the coaching staff, they know the direction they want to go in and they go get it. That’s something I really liked.”
Rockett relied on his older brothers, Hayden and Owen, for advice on what to look for in a program. Both elder Rockett brothers experienced the recruiting process. Hayden committed to play at Division III Trinity after his senior year at St. John’s, while Owen recently wrapped up a four-year career at Division I Colgate.
“They told me it’s about who wants you the most,” Rockett said. “There’s no other way to measure it. I’m committing to their program and they should be committing to me as well. Coach Perry showed that week to week. They guided me through the application process, they were very hands-on and I loved that. They told me to hang in there.
“The national signing day was December 15 but I had to hang in there and let things play out. I took a lot of their advice. That really helped guide me through process.”
With a weight off his shoulders, Rockett now turns the page to enjoying the rest of his senior year while preparing for his final season of high school lacrosse. He feels the Eagles are primed for another trip to the state tournament.
“I think we’re going to be really good,” Rockett said. “(St. John’s lacrosse) Coach (John) Pynchon has had a couple years to just settle in. He knows exactly what he’s doing. He has a track record of winning from his years at Beverly. Our defense will be solid, our middies fly around and make plays and our attackmen finish plays. We’ll be ready for it and I’m excited.”