Erich Schneider: My coach sent out my game film to a number of colleges after my sophomore season. After that I was invited to Duke's one day camp in June. I had the chance to run drills and work with the coaches at Wallace Wade Stadium, which was nice.
I had been in contact with the recruiting coach. When I called to check in with him he was with Coach Cutcliffe who invited me to join the program. Since that time I have been to the Alabama game in Durham with my family and was able to meet the rest of the coaching staff as well. The coaches had been sending me a lot of mail and information about the program. Then, in October, I called Coach Cutcliffe and told him I wanted to accept his offer.
And the reaction from the coaches was….
They were really excited and have been extremely supportive of me and of my decision.
Which other schools did you consider before deciding? And what separated Duke from those schools?
I had been to Wake Forest and also Florida for summer camps. I choose Duke because it is strong academically, and I feel that I can contribute to their team. The coaches have been great and demonstrate qualities that I was looking for in a program.
In the off-season between your junior and senior season, can you update the various measurable statistics?
I am 6-foot-6 and 215 pounds. I have a personal best forty time of 4.6 seconds. In the weight room I bench press 235 pounds and squat 410 pounds.
As with most high major players, it appears as though you played several different positions, correct?
Yes, our team had a very strong season and I got to play against some of the best competition at different spots. I played wide receiver, outside linebacker, and on special teams.
At 6'6 and 215 pounds, that's a big receiver. Or are you being looked at for another position, and is a redshirt a possibility?
I know they would like me to end up as a tight end, but I am not totally sure where I will be played during my years at Duke. I would probably prefer to be redshirted to add weight and learn the new position, but I will play where ever they need and ask me to play.
Just because you are committed, and probably because it happened so early, is it safe to assume other schools aren't backing off?
I am hearing from several schools such as Texas Tech, Cincinnati, Northwestern, and Vanderbilt.
Do the Duke coaches offer you any advice on how to deal with that?
No, the coaches haven't said anything about it really. They are just supportive.
Have the coaches provided anything they'd like you to focus on before you arrive at school in 15 months or so?
Yes, they have an online weight training program and have encouraged me to keep my grades up and to take the SAT and ACT early to get it out of the way.
Are you planning on visiting Duke any time soon?
Yes. They have a number of junior days and informational sessions for everyone to learn more about the school and campus, so I am planning on going up there for those.
Away from the gridiron, what are your hobbies and interest?
I play basketball as well as football and enjoy the usual stuff every kid my age does. I really enjoy fishing and like to play XBox as well.