Academics are as important as ability when it comes to getting scholarship offers, as both are needed to make the cut.
Antoine Pozniak (6’3, 215, 4.58) has spent some time juggling both while learning first-hand how football and studies coincide. Originally scheduled to graduate with the 2010 class, Pozniak has been reclassified to the 2011 class and The Hun School (N.J.) product says that he has his academics under control and his eyes set on learning at the next level.
“I started off going to high school in New Jersey and then I transferred to school in Syracuse, N.Y. (Bishop Grimes H.S.),” Pozniak informed. “Now I’m going back to the Hun School in New Jersey. I’m changing schools so that way I can finish up in December to be able to enroll into college in January.
“I’m ready to come in and compete right away,” Pozniak continued. “I think enrolling early to adapt to the college routine and to learn the system of the team will help a ton.”
Pozniak racked up 154 tackles, four forced fumbles, and two interceptions last season while playing outside linebacker at Bishop Grimes. The uncertainty surrounding his academics, along with the switching of schools, left many college coaches frozen when it came to his recruitment. But now that his academics are straight, many programs have been in touch as of late.
“I don’t have any offers yet, but I’ve been talking with coaches from LSU, Michigan, Rutgers, South Carolina and Nebraska,” Pozniak stated. “They’re all telling me pretty much the same thing. They like what they see of me on film, but they want to see me in person, so I have visits set up to all of them.”
The first program to get a visit also happens to be one of the furthest from the New York area – LSU. Pozniak claims distance does not matter; he is simply looking for a place he can call home.
“I started speaking with Coach (John) Chavis from LSU kind of just every once in a while, but lately we’ve been talking a couple times a week,” Pozniak said. “At first, he suggested for me to get down there for a camp, but then he said I should try to make it down for the spring game this weekend.
“As soon as he said that, it wasn’t an issue. I booked the flight. I know there will probably be a lot of recruits down there, so I scheduled myself to arrive on Thursday and leave on Sunday. I want to get there early and leave late.”
The trip to Baton Rouge will be Pozniak’s first taste of LSU and Louisiana and it’s one he is anxious to make.
“It’ll be my first trip ever to LSU and to Louisiana,” Pozniak added. “I’m excited to meet the coaches and to see what LSU is all about. I don’t know much about LSU, but I do know they produce a lot of good defensive tackles, which means it would make my job as a linebacker a lot easier. I also know LSU is one of the top-tier teams in the SEC and they’re always making a run at the national title. It’s a program where I think I could fit in.”
Pozniak’s main goal on all of his visits is the same which is to land an offer. However, his mindset going into each trip is not.
“I know every school is different,” he explained. “So nothing will be set when I go on my visits. I just want to find a place where I fit in best. Some guys get all caught up on what the coaches tell them because they tell them what they want to hear. I don’t care about that stuff because I’m going to go where I want and not because of what someone told me.”
“I don’t want anything given to me,” Pozniak continued. “I want to come in and earn a spot. I want to make a name for myself and be successful.”