The Tradition Continues

The latest big-name prospect from Aplington-Parkersburg, a small but standout Class 2-A high school football program in the state of Iowa, is Taylor Schrage. And he has his dreams set on becoming the fifth player from his high school in recent years to make it to the NFL.

Which Division I-A school will be his next stop along the way? Schrage, an outside linebacker and strong safety, currently has drawn interest from numerous schools but has narrowed his focus to three. Or is it four?

"I've been offered by Iowa, Iowa State and Kansas State, and looked at by a lot of other schools," he said. "The only schools I've shown interest in are those three. I didn't want to play mind games with any other schools, so I just narrowed it down to three right away. Possibly Nebraska might be in there too, but I'm not sure yet."

In leading Aplington-Parkersburg to a 12-1 record and Class 1-A state championship last season, the first team all-stater recorded 73 tackles, two sacks and two interceptions as well as a pair of defensive touchdowns. As a running back, he cleared the 1,700-yard plateau on 253 carries and scored 28 touchdowns overall. He is yet another high-caliber player to come out of a school that has seen the likes of Aaron Kampman, Jared Devries, Casey Wiegmann and Brad Meester go onto the NFL.

"It's huge, it helps out so much having those guys to look to," Schrage said. "I don't know if I realize just how much it helps. You want to reach the next level. You reach college and want to reach your highest potential. It's a dream that every kid at A-P has, playing in the NFL. That's pretty big in our town."

Although he has the influence of three of those players having gone to Iowa, Schrage says the Hawks, Cyclones and Wildcats are on an even plain right now. He had this to say about his three finalists:

Iowa State—"The biggest thing they've got going for them is my brother (Landon) plays for Iowa State. You always dream about playing together again after high school. I really enjoyed playing with him in high school. He and I are really close. That's really good for Iowa State that he went there.

"They're putting in that new indoor facility and that looks really awesome. That's really good for them. I don't think you can get any more enthused than Coach (Dan) McCarney. The coach we have here at A-P is a lot like him in the enthusiasm part. All of the coaches there are really good, like Coach (Mike) Woodley and Coach (Terry) Allen. Coach (DeMontie) Cross is a really tough guy and that's what I really like. He gets down to business right away and doesn't mess around."

Iowa—"Iowa's strength and conditioning coach (Chris Doyle) is an awesome guy. I look at that a lot in a college, because you spend three-fourths of your time with them anyway. That's a big impact on where I might go. They're going to get you to where you're supposed to be and put you on the field at your best potential.

"Coach (Kirk) Ferentz is a really respected guy. I like him a lot. Coach (Reece) Morgan is a great recruiting guy. He got me really interested in Iowa."

Kansas State—"The facilities there are really awesome. I love Coach (Bob) Elliott and Coach (Bret) Bielema, they're two great coaches. You've got to look at the seasons they've had. They won 11 or more games for quite a few years in a row, except for last year. Kansas State is an awesome place to go."

Schrage also mentioned that Nebraska could eventually be in the mix, but he's not sure at this point. "I'm not sure if I want to go out of state to Nebraska," he said.

As for a current favorite among the three or a time frame to make his decision, Schrage says he's almost certain to wait until the end of his senior campaign and take official visits to ISU, Iowa and K-State.

"I'm not sure which one is my top one, or which one I have the least interest in," he said. "I'm not really thinking about that yet. All three schools are really good schools to go to. I'll probably decide after the season and take official visits to all three schools and maybe four if Nebraska is in there."

Schrage is in the process of taking unofficial visits to both in-state schools he is interested in. That started with ISU on Saturday, then a trip to Iowa City on Aug. 17.

Every program is interested in Schrage as an outside linebacker, but he says the Cyclones have also expressed interest in him taking a look at strong safety.

"All three schools are looking for me at outside linebacker," he said. "Iowa State is kind of looking for me at outside linebacker or strong safety. I don't know how much they're leaning on either one, but it kind of looks like more outside linebacker. I did both positions in camp."

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