Offers piling up for Washington "biggun".

The first written offer from a major program, it means something. It's a reward, an acknowledgement of effort you as a player have given since perhaps you were just old enough to know what football was. Well, for one player, it's only his third year of football and he's sitting on offers that some "lifers" might never see. And, just yesterday, his list grew by one more.

If you are standout football player in the state ofWashington, it's only a matter of time before Washington comes o' calling. For offensive lineman, Steve Schilling, that was his first offer of his recruiting year. "I was surprised when I got it," Steve said of the offer he received months ago. "I guess you don't really think about it until it comes, but it was an honor when I knew I had it."


The honors didn't stop as Washington started what was to be almost a deluge to follow, schools like UCLA, Oregon, Oregon State, USC, Washington State, Missouri, Michigan and Arizona State following suit.


And, the University of Nebraska added themselves to the list, that offer coming in the mail just yesterday. Even with some of the schools far closer to him already offering, Nebraska still stood as an offer he was glad to get. "I don't know a lot about them, but I know they have a great football tradition," Steve said. "I haven't talked to any of the coaches yet, but I'm looking forward to getting to know more about them."


Steve's finding it a chore in trying to get to know these schools as the offers are coming faster than he can research them, but he's just glad that he has a "problem" like that. "It's an honor to get all of these offers," he said. "I've only been playing football for three years and I definitely didn't go into it thinking that I was going to have this kind of attention even before I was a senior."


Much of that has to do with the fact that other than his natural gifts of quickness off the ball, good feet and speed side-to-side, Schilling takes his 6 foot, 5 inch, 285 pound frame to the field with a soft-spoken, but determined disposition.


He's a lineman and like all lineman, there's an intangible that they all have to have if they are even thinking about being successful at the next level.




"You have to be determined when you play the line," Steve said. "I'm not one of those types that says you need to go crazy out there, but if you do your job and just never give up on a play, that's how you have success."


"From start to finish, just don't stop until the whistle blows and you'll probably have some success."


He's had some as well as his team, the prime goal for Steve and his Bellevue high school team is winning "another" state title. In fact, you can try talking about individual accolades, the recruiting attention and so on with him, but invariably, he's always going to push the conversation back to what he cares about the most.


"I don't like thinking about all that individual stuff, because that's not what I'm out there for," Schilling said. "You take the field as part of a team, so that's what means more to me. I don't care about my numbers, the blocks or whatever, because as long as the team wins, that's what matters."


Steve is down to earth, there's no question there and his level-headedness segues into the recruiting process. With offers from teams like USC, Michigan, Nebraska and both of the in-state powers, you'd think that Schilling might be enamored with all of the possibilities for the future. But, instead, he's hardly thinking about it at all. "I'm just letting things play out right now," he said. "I'm not thinking about any one school, about what I want as far as what's important about that school. Really, none of that is even a concern to me."


"I'm more interested in what I have to do as a senior first."


Schilling has made a couple of unofficial visits, those being to USC and UCLA, but isn't sure if he's making anymore, even all the way up to the point his final season of prep-ball starts.


Steve knows to an extent what's on the horizon as far as the recruiting attention goes, so he's not worried about going to them, rather he's looking at what comes in and when the time seems right, he'll attempt to narrow things down. "It's just too early to think about any favorites or what I want in a school," he said. "There's so much that goes into that, that you can't even really find out without talking to the coaches, getting to know them and figuring out what the program is about."


"There's stuff like good academics that are obvious concerns, but outside of that, I don't have any criteria set out right now as to what I am really looking for." 


Considering his region, the offer from USC would appear to be inviting, if not completely overwhelming. To talk to Schilling, you'd think that if he had offers from every single team in the top 25, it might even make him blink. "I look at them all as honors, but none of them are any different from the others," he said. "Location, weather, national titles-none of that means anything to say one has an advantage over the other. I am really not dividing anyone right now and I don't know that I will for awhile."


For a young man that has only been playing football since the beginning of his high school career, he's already addressing the by-products of his success with maturity. The on-the-field success, the individual accolades and the attention hasn't dulled his passion to get better. Add to that the fact that he's stellar in the classroom, posting a 3.72 GPA, you've got a package that is talented, ideal in size and well-rounded mentally.


The offers will already tell you that Schilling is going to be one of the hottest line prospects on the west coast this year. The offers are still coming, though, and don't show any signs of slowing down. So, before you know it, this Washington-wonder might be one of the top names not just on his coast, but coast-to-coast as one of the best of the bigguns in the country.


The best thing is, Steve himself would be the last one that would actually agree. "I'm just doing my job," he said. "Everyone likes to think that they are good at what they do, but I don't think about it. If we win, that's what matters. That's all I really care about."

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