Recruiting Update - Joe Schaefer

Cleveland Benedictine LB/DE Joe Schaefer is a player who could emerge this season. He posted big numbers for the Division III state runner up last year and is set to do the same this year.

Joe Schaefer is a bruising LB from Benedictine HS (OH) who is on the cusp of a season that could put him over the edge in terms receiving some offers from some major Division I football programs.

Schaefer has only received an offer from Cincinnati despite 1st Team All–State, 1st Team All–District, and 2nd Team All - County honors last season. He is hearing from Wisconsin, Maryland, Purdue, Iowa, and all the MAC programs. With a breakout season, the interest from these programs may very well turn into offers.

Commenting on his only offer thus far, Schaefer says he likes Cincinnati. "They are in the process of a $300 million dollar renovation project," explains Schaefer. "Things look good there. Everything there is well – geography, academics – my parents can see me play, and Cincinnati is going to be moving to the Big East, so that's a pretty big factor."

Schaefer grew up a Buckeye fan and would like to hear more from Ohio State as the 2003 season progresses.

At 6'4 1/2, 256 lbs with 4.8-4.9 speed, Schaefer says he is an aggressive player and "just really like(s) to get after it." As a LB, he naturally likes to hit. Schaefer says one of his hardest hits ever came in the state championship game against Columbus Bishop Watterson last season in a losing effort. "It was a trap play, my guard was trapping, and I read it before the tackle could even come down on me. Right as the kid was receiving the ball in the backfield, I laid him out," explains Schaefer.

Last season, Schaefer registered approximately 160 tackles (38 solo) and 4.5 – 5.5 sacks. He has camped at Louisville and Toledo this summer. Schaefer says the most important thing he learned at camp this summer the importance of footwork at the college level. "We didn't go over things like reads like you do in high school – it's all about footwork and being able to change direction at any given time, like pass drops a LB will have to make on pass plays," he says.

Schaefer is a natural leader in that he was named team captain as a junior. In addition to his leadership qualities, Schaefer says he will bring a high level of intensity to a college football program. However, he realizes that he will have to adjust to the speed of the college game, and it will be more difficult to go 100% the whole game.

Starting off his high school career, Schafer played took the snaps for Benedictine in addition to his LB duties. He was sidelined with "mono" at the beginning of his sophomore season only to break his collarbone upon returning. However, Benedictine made it to the playoffs that season and Schaefer was ready to go after an 8-week layoff.

Schaefer recently read the autobiography of NFL Hall of Famer Dick Butkus, and he draws his inspiration on the football field from the Chicago Bear great.


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