Crete-Monee Junior Making Name As DT

The Crete-Monee football team is having a great season. It is undefeated as it enters the state playoffs. One of its stars is junior defensive lineman Jonathan Schultz. He has visited Illinois twice and will consider the school strongly for college a year from now.

Jonathan Schultz attended an Illinois summer camp in June and felt he learned a great deal.

"I took a visit to Illinois in early June on a bus tour. It was the U. of I. one-day camp, so first we talked to the coaching staff, then we went and performed for coaches—40-yard dash, shuttle, one-on-one drills, and other drills.

"It was a rainy day, but I still enjoyed the visit. They had very nice facilities and a nice coaching staff. The coaching staff taught me a lot of things."

He returned to campus with junior teammate Austin Rosenfeld for the Ohio State football game. The Illini lost, but he had another chance to visit with Illinois coaches and observe a game-day atmosphere. He has another game visit planned soon.

"November 6th, I am going to the Ohio State vs. Indiana game. And next June, I will start making campus visits again to Illinois, Ohio State and a handful of other colleges."

He will undoubtedly begin entertaining college offers soon.

"I don't have any offers, but some colleges talking to me are Ohio State, Vanderbilt, Illinois, Northwestern, Notre Dame and several other schools."

What are his impressions of Illinois?

"My thoughts on Illinois are they are going to be a powerhouse football program real soon. On my (summer) visit, I knew U. of I. was going to be at the level they are now. When I was there, I saw the freshmen were working out really hard, getting better. By seeing that, I knew they meant business."

Schultz's priority at the moment is helping his Crete-Monee team advance far in the playoffs. They open with Bloomington Saturday in the first round of Class 6-A.

"We are 9-0 right now. I think we can go pretty far in the playoffs. We have to eliminate our mental mistakes, but when it comes down to the playoffs, I view us as state championship contenders.

"It is going really well right now. Our defensive line is making a big impact and frustrating the offensive line a little bit, especially when we go to our jumbo package."

He feels he has had a successful junior year.

"I believe I have made a really big impact. When I am there, I add both a mental and physical asset to my team. I am very motivational to my teammates—keeping them in the game and making sure they are ready to go. And when I am out there making plays, it motivates others to make plays too."

Schultz feels he has physical attributes that make him a force as a defensive tackle.

,P>"My presence is a strength. When I fire off the ball, you can see my presence on the field and intimidating other offensive lineman with my size and speed. I am 270 and run a 5.1, 5-flat 40-yard dash, and that alone is a good attribute. I am a very powerful and smart player too."

Of course, there is always room for improvement.

"I need to work on everything because I am not a perfect player. I just need to master the game better and understand things like the down and situation. Like when it's a third down and you're going to be firing off hard, look for things such as a screen or draw."

He was asked what he would want a potential college coach to know about him.

"I am very humble about myself. I never settle. We are 9-0 right now, but I am still looking for weaknesses for my team and myself. I just want to push forward and keep striving for more. Right now, I know I am doing well, but I know I have the ability to do way better because I am a gifted player."

Schultz is taking a thoughtful approach to selecting a school.

"When I choose my college, I will be looking for a coaching staff that will help me get better. I worry about the winning and losing, but I just want the coaches to show me how I can improve. Who is going to push me the hardest? That's what I am looking for right now, a staff that will push me to where I can become a great player.

"Early playing time will not really be a factor. I look at is as, there are other defensive lineman at the college, so I have to earn the respect. Plus, I will have to adjust to many things in the college game. The game speed from high school to college is completely different.

"I would like to be on the field early, but if it doesn't work out that way, then it won't have an impact on my decision."

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