Joe is Joe.
It is a simple three words that stands for much more.
You would expect Joe Tippmann the Division I recruit to be different than Joe Tippmann the youthful footballer moving up the CYO ranks.
Turns out, he’s exactly the same.
Following the Week 6 game against Concordia, Saints coach Jason Garrett received a full-page letter from a veteran teacher at Concordia. The text described how impressed the teacher was with Tippmann – how he helped defenders up after plays, many times coming seconds after he destroyed them with pancake blocks. Following the game, Bishop Dwenger began its customary run around the edge of the field behind the south goalpost at Zollner Stadium towards their buses. The teacher observed Tippmann stopping and helping team managers pick up and carry camera equipment.
Joe is Joe.
Midway through the season, Garrett met with his student managers to discuss various topics. Without prompting, one of them, a freshman, spoke up about Tippmann.
“He said, ‘Hey coach, do you know who the nicest player on the team is?’ recollected Garrett. “I told him no. He said, ‘Joe Tippmann. Every day he says hi to me. He talks to me in the hallway (at school). He sits with me when he can.’
“It is an unbelievable combination of a young man being physical on the field and playing the game such a way but being so humble and gentle.”
It is that combination of immense football skill and the welcoming, kind personality off the field that has earned Tippmann the first-ever Outside the Huddle Football Player of the Year award.
Tippmann is a big dude. At 6-foot-6, he towers over many, making it nearly impossible for the Bishop Dwenger senior to lose himself in a crowd.
For him, that’s OK.
It was hard to miss him on the gridiron this season as well. He made his mark on the 4A state champion team in a variety of ways. One of the most dominant offensive linemen in the state at his tackle spot, Tippmann also played defensive tackle, accumulating 41 tackles and three sacks.
But perhaps his most memorable (and visible) impact on the 2018 season was in the offensive backfield, serving as a lead blocker on occasion. He also was able to carry the ball twice for seven yards.
“Oh that was fun,” said Tippmann with a smile when asked about his running back cameo.
“His first carry (against Leo on October 26) went for one yard, and he was wanting to get another shot,” Garrett said. “His second rush he rumbled for six yards. We felt like that was a good result to end that experiment on.”
Tippmann excelled in his myriad of roles while continuing to stay true to his personality. Teams looking to slow down the big guy would sometimes resort to desperate measures.
“Guys would take him on defensively by going low and taking out his legs,” Garrett said. “It’s not legal, but guys were trying to survive. Joe would go to the referee and explain what was going on. He never lost control. He never did anything unsportsmanlike.”
Chances are Tippmann will be the same person he is now when he heads to Madison to join the University of Wisconsin football team. Despite offers from the likes of Purdue, Indiana and Iowa, there was something about the Badgers that drew him in.
“After I visited Wisconsin I felt myself comparing every other visit I went on with how it was there,” said Tippmann, who is rated as a four-star recruit by 247Sports.com. “It was then I realized that I wanted to be there.”
Garrett and many others around Bishop Dwenger won’t soon forget Tippmann or his impact both with the football program and within the school.
“He is so passionate and such a team player,” Garrett said. “He is willing to do anything and everything that is asked of him.”
Joe is Joe.