Brian Kelly has made it clear that he wants to add dynamic speed on offense.
Considering Anthony Schwartz owns the sixth-fastest 100-meter dash at the high school level ever, his Irish offer came as no surprise.
Neither did offers from most of the strong programs of the SEC, as well as Oregon, Michigan, Michigan State, Nebraska, Miami, UCLA, USC and more.
The question remains, with his track career looking extremely promising, how interested is he in playing college football?
Irish Illustrated searched for answers from his head coach and former NFL cornerback, Patrick Surtain.
“He’s looking at schools who offer him both at a high level because he’s a guy that loves football,” Surtain said. “Like I say, he’s an extremely good football player. Obviously, people see the 10.1 (100-meter dash time) but then you turn on the film and you see him being an explosive football player. I think he’s going to go to the school where they offer both at a high level.”
Unlike many elite sprinters who try their hand in football, Schwartz’s dynamic speed transitions to the gridiron. Not only does he have speed to beat most defensive backs at the high school level, he boasts great route running ability and ball skills.
“He does translate his speed to the football field,” Surtain said. “He’s been a really good football player for a long time, ever since he was at the early level of football. Of course, the 10.1 takes precedent because you rarely see a high school kid run that fast. On the football field, he’s also pretty special, so he has a unique gift.
“Definitely, our role is to get him the ball in space and let him run. He’s going to return some kicks this year and play a bunch at receiver. Just get him the ball and let him use that world class speed that you rarely see.”
Schwartz is more than a receiver with homerun speed. He performs several roles for his prep program.
“He’s not afraid to go over the middle, he’s a tough kid,” Surtain said. “He also played a little safety for us last year. He’s not afraid of contact. We’re going to try to expand his role again because when you’ve got somebody like that, with such a unique talent, you’ve got to get him the ball more. We’re definitely going to do that this year.”
Schwartz has clocked a 4.34 40-yard dash.
“We’re going to play him all over,” Surtain said. “He was (playing slot) briefly last year. With a guy like that, I want him on the outside because it changes the dynamic of the defense. You have to keep a safety over the top and that allows different things for the offense. If you leave him one-on-one, it’s hard to stop a 10.1 (100-meter sprinter), so you can send him on a go route and you know the corner is going to bail 20 yards off, now you throw him a comeback. That’s a dangerous weapon that we’re going to use a lot more this year.”
Off the field, Surtain likes what he sees from Schwartz too.
“He’s a great kid,” Surtain said. “He gets along with the guys really well, he’s a great student. He’s just an all-around great young man.”
This spring, Schwartz has had a set back that will put his track events on pause. This may allow him to focus more on his football recruitment.
“I’ll know more as spring goes along,” Surtain said. “He hurt his hamstring and he was supposed to go run in Cuba with some elite track athletes in high school but that’s on hold now because of his hamstring. He’s going to take it slow. He just tweaked it a little bit. With some rest and some rehab, he’ll be just fine.”
Notre Dame made the four-star athlete’s Top 10 and will be in consideration for one of his official visits.
“He wants to take all his officials to see everything so he can make a good decision,” Surtain said. “I don’t think he wants to make a decision without seeing the campus and being with the people, so I think he’ll make his decision after he makes all of his official visits.”