Up-Close and Personal: Michael Schwindel

While the rest of the world was in Knoxville for the Kentucky/Tennessee All-Star game week, <i>Inside Kentucky</i> was in Owensboro getting a first hand look at some of the top athletes in Western Kentucky. First up, was Hancock County's Michael Schwindel.

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Inside Kentucky adds a new feature called, "up-close and personal." This feature gets you inside the home of recruits like never before as IK will try to paint a picture of the recruiting process from all angles.

Welcome to a day and the life of Michael Schwindel.

After spending the afternoon working out and running, the senior-to-be headed to Owensboro to play in the Apollo High School, 7-on-7 tournament.

In his mind, however, was basketball.

Schwindel is set to participate in the Kentucky-Indiana All-Star juniors versus the seniors game at the SportsCenter later that night.

First up was the 7-on-7

Playing against Davis County, Schwindel dominated from start to finish at the wide reciever position.

In the first half, despite getting double teamed for the majority of the game, Schwindel still managed to score two touchdowns and intercept 2 passes. He would add another touchdown towards the end of the game, to finish with three, while only playing 3 quarters of the game.

The raw ability just screams at you.

While listed at 205, he is probably closer to 190 at his current height of 6'4-6'5. He will need to add weight, but just looking at his body, you can tell that won't be a problem. He's got a very nice upper body that can add 20 pounds and small calves and legs that can do the same.

He reminds me of a skinny James Whalen or Denver's Ed McCaffery. He's very smooth from start to finish and can outjump anyone for the ball. He's got that exceptional quickness and he's got those magic hands that catches anything that comes near him.

"He went to get quick camp and now is flying," Mike's grandfather Bill Lyles told Inside Kentucky. "He tied Justin Miller's speed school record of 21 miles per hour. He tried to break the record at 22 mile per hour, but couldn't maintain his speed for 10 seconds."

"I don't know what his forty time is, becuase they don't measure that, but he is noticably faster."

He's also a leader.

"He teaches the entire defensive secondary how to play their respective positons," Lyles said.

That was evident from our seats, as after a teammate had made an interception, Schwindel made it a point to let him know that he, "almost waited too long."

"He's always been that way," said Mike's grandfather Bill Lyles. "He's just a winner."

"Mike's a special kid and a special player," Hancock County Coach Brock Shoulders told me after the 7-on-7 tournament had concluded. "He works hard on the practice field and in the classroom; and his work ethic seems to be contagious to the rest of the team."

"He's obviously got that outstanding athletic ability, but he's a fantastic kid outside the field," Coach Shoulders continued.

It's that work in the classroom that has attracted the attention, recently, of Harvard.

"They told him he needed to get a 29 on his ACT and he would get all the financial help in the world," Mike's dad, Jake, said following the game.

"He got a 28."

"Mike gets two magazines; ESPN and Popular Science," his father continued. "And if he had a choice, I think he'd read Popular Science, first."

"He must of got that from his mother."

The recruiting process is never easy on a family.

"It's been crazy to say the least, he's getting a lot of interest from everywhere and we still don't know what he wants to play in college."

"Ever since he was a little kid he loved Kentucky," Jake Schwindel continued. "He was born in Indiana, where I grew up, but he always loved Kentucky."

"Now his sister, she was born in Kentucky, and loves Indiana, so it's kind of funny how it all turned out."

"Tennessee, Arkansas, Notre Dame, and Louisville all send stuff."

"Mike doesn't even look at the mail anymore, though."

The decision remains, basketball or football?

"In fact, we're headed over to watch Mike play in this All-star game now," the elder Schwindel said. "I think he'll choose football, but basketball has always been his first love."

In the junior all-star game, Schwindel was equally as impressive, playing hard nose defense and the usual scrappy-ness that comes with his game. He flies around the court with his quickness and leaping ability. He was the only of the juniors, with the exception of Derek Adams, that could throw down dunks with ease in warm ups. Even doing a reverse 180.

Although he struggled to get in the basketball mood early in the game, Schwindel and Adams led the juniors to a respectable showing.

"Mike got invited to Rick Pitino's camp, which is a big deal, because they only invite those guys that Pitino thinks fits his system," Lyles explained. "He's looking forward to that."

"Mike's a player," Mark Adams, the father of basketball prospect Derek Adams and former AAU coach of Mike said. "He's always been just an exceptional athlete," Adams continued. "He had that big build since he was little, was about 6' in the seventh grade."

"They all enjoyed each other and they have all been friends," Adams continued. "Mike and Derek were outstanding together and Zach (Barnard) was had some great games for me."

"It was a lot of fun to coach that group (Zach Barnard, Mike Schwindel, and Derek Adams) of kids," the elder Adams explained. "We got a chance to go to the AAU nationals tournament and had a blast."

As far as his college decision, Mike's dad gave no indication of when a commitment was coming.

"It's all up to Mike at this point."

"Getting that offer from UK makes it hard because you don't know whether you should wait or not," Jake Schwindel explained. "You risk whether or not that offer will be on the table later on, the longer you wait."

"Mike's a home-body though, I think he'll stay in-state."


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