Wide receiver Austin Pfenninger of Carmel High (Ind.) knows his strengths have come from overcoming the odds.
"I think playing with heart is my biggest advantage," Pfenninger said. "Because of my size and most people don't know that I was born with a birth defect in my foot and had to have reconstructive surgery."
He added, "So I wasn't even supposed to play football."
But he did, ad ever since first grade Pfenninger knew that the gridiron was where he belonged. "I started football in first grade," Pfenninger. "My parents let me play then."
Now, fast forward to his junior year in high school -- and Pfenninger is drawing interest from schools across the country.
"Recruiting is going well," Pfenninger said. "I have heard from a lot of the Ivy league schools, and several other schools are starting to show interest."
That positive energy is reflected in Pfenningers list of schools of interest.
Pfenninger is still looking for his first offer and plans on camping several places this summer to earn it.
"I know I will be at the Chicagoland Showcase at Northwestern," Pfenninger said. "And I am not sure of which other camps I will be at but I am going to try to get to Penn, Princeton, Colorado, Coastal Carolina, and maybe Miami of Ohio."
While camping, he hopes to show off his greatest assets on the field.
"My strengths on the field are my quickness and my hands," Pfenninger said.
There is even more that Pfenninger is looking forward to about his senior season.
"I was playing a lot in the beginning of last season," Pfenninger said. "But then I had to miss five games with a concussion so i would like to prove that I can play with anyone this season."
Pfenninger has other goals in mind too.
"Our team finished fourth in some polls," Pfenninger said. "So i think we can contend for number one and show that Indiana teams can beat the top schools in other states."
And that team, helps motivate Pfenninger like nothing else.
"My favorite thing about football is being on the same team as a lot of my teammates since 6th grade," Pfenninger said. "And watching us all improve as players and working as a team for one goal."