"Of course his brother is playing at Iowa State and that had a lot to do with it," said Aplington-Parkersburg head coach Ed Thomas. "It sure makes it nice for the Mom and Dad, having both boys at Iowa State. I think Taylor just felt more comfortable with the whole environment at Iowa State University. He wants to go into horticulture and they have a tremendous program. I think there were a lot of things that weighed into that decision."
Schrage, who will end up on the defensive side of the ball at either linebacker or strong safety, picked the Cyclones over scholarship offers from Iowa and Kansas State. He is the 11th known addition for the Class of 2003 and 10th player from the state of Iowa to give Cyclone coaches a commitment.
In leading A-P to a 12-1 record and Class 1-A state championship last season, Schrage, a 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 has cleared 1,700 rushing yards and 28 touchdowns during each of the past two seasons.
In previous Cyclone Nation online stories, Schrage indicated that he would most likely wait until the winter to make a college choice. Many factors could have played into his decision, including a potentially serious knee injury he sustained in the season opener and Iowa getting a commitment from New Hampton athlete Mike Humpel last week.
However, Thomas insists that neither played as big a role as some might think.
"Taylor has known for a couple of weeks where he wanted to go, but thought he would wait," Thomas said. "But he just decided that he'd go ahead and make the announcement.
"Iowa State is getting a tremendous football player in Taylor Schrage. He has as quick of feet as any kid that has ever came out of here and we've got four kids playing in the NFL right now. His best football, without question, is ahead of him yet in college. He has all of those intangibles that are going to make him a tremendous football player for Iowa State. He's also a tremendous person and brings a great work ethic."
According to Thomas, Schrage will attempt to play out the 2002 season with a torn ACL in his right knee. The A-P senior traveled to Des Moines last Thursday to see a specialist and was fitted for a knee brace. If he is able to avoid further injuring the knee, Schrage will have surgery in December and could recover fully by April or May.
Schrage, who did not play in last weekend's game, injured the knee initially in a season-opening victory over Dike-New Hartford, then re-aggravated the following week when he tried to play against Eldora-New Providence. He is expected to practice this week and play this Friday.
"The doctor told him his legs has developed well, which is stabilizing the knee," Thomas said. "He said it's just a matter of if he can endure the discomfort, swelling and things that take place as a result of it.
"He has really handled it well. He went down to get checked on Thursday night and brought the brace back with him and dressed Friday night for us. We didn't put him on the field, but he had it strapped up and was cutting on it. He's just a tough kid. If there is a kid that could play with it, it's him."