Staying Patient

Highland Ranch (CO) quarterback Steve Donatell put himself on the recruiting radar after a big junior season. A true student of the game, Donatell continues to improve raise his football IQ by studying film with his father Ed, a longtime NFL assistant coach. The dual-threat quarterback recently spoke with Northwestern offensive coordinator Mick McCall and received some detail on where he stands.

"(McCall) is keeping me in tune on whether they'll have another scholarship to give out," said Steve Donatell. "It's kind of a waiting game."

Donatell (6-5, 195) holds one offer from Nebraska. He is close to receiving an offer from Wake Forest and in-state Colorado. Northwestern has shown Donatell strong interest, but have told him to remain patient.

Over the summer, Donatell was making plans to visit campus and participate in Northwestern's one-day camp, but McCall—who saw Donatell throw during the spring—advised him not to.

"He was being honest with me and didn't want me to spend money on travel to come out to a camp, perform well, and then say we can't offer you anything," Donatell said of Coach McCall. "He's been really good about being honest the whole time."

Donatell has seen Northwestern play, but from an unusual perspective. His brother, Tom, is a defensive back for the Iowa Hawkeyes. While watching the Hawkeyes and Wildcats, Steve has taken notice to Northwestern's quarterbacks.

"That Persa kid is great, I like the way he plays, he's a tough kid," said Donatell. "He's the stereotypical Northwestern football player—a hard worker. I like their spread (offense) and what they did with the Denver kid, Kain Colter. I saw him when he played here. They get the right guys in the right positions and make plays."

Donatell has also taken notice to the Wildcats' spread offense. The offense has a similar look to what he runs with Highland Ranch.

"I think we run a lot of the same thing as Northwestern and it wouldn't be that much of a change if I ended up there," he said. "That never hurts. Their offense is a great running offense and it would be great to be a part of it."

Overall, Donatell is respectful of how Northwestern's football program works.

"I really like the culture around there," Donatell said of Northwestern. "Every player is hard-working. They may not have the most talented players but they find a way to win."

As a junior, Donatell put himself on the map with a big season. He threw for 1,008 yards and 12 touchdowns, while completing 62% of his passes. He also ran for 535 yards and six touchdowns. While Donatell is a fantastic athlete, he is a special quarterback because of the preparation he puts in.

Donatell spends time watching film—both of himself and of NFL quarterbacks like Tom Brady. Just as his father Ed does for his NFL player, he cuts up film for his son to study.

"He helps me cuts up tapes and helps me read coverages and blitzes," Steve Donatell said. "He shows me Tom Brady (on film) and I'm always watching these guys—my idols. I'm picking apart their motions and watching how I can make my motion better."

Colorado schools open up this week, so Steve is getting set for his senior year of high school and senior football season. His summer is over, but his recruitment is far from over. Donatell is planning on remaining patient throughout his recruitment, while hoping other schools jump into the mix.

"I'm going to wait till after the season to sit back and see if I can have a couple options here if at all," he said. "I'm going to be conservative and wait for everything to come to me."

Steve's father has reminded him to be conservative in the recruiting process.

"His advice is to take my time and enjoy it," Steve said. "It can be stressful at times but it will all play out how it's supposed to."

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