Schlichter One Of The Big Three In Ohio This Year

Quarterback Miles Schlichter has been prominently talked about in the recruiting circles for two years now and he hopes to pick a college before his senior season begins. The nephew of the former Buckeye great, Art Schlichter, has yet to receive any scholarship offers but he could be just as comfortable playing in the MAC or the Big Ten. Is Ohio State one of the schools he would like to attend?

He might have a last name that is synonymous for greatness as a quarterback at Ohio State but Miles Schlichter of Miami Trace High School has spent the past couple of seasons making a name for himself by doing great things not only on the football field but around the camp circuit as well.

Schlichter attended the U.S. Army All-American combine in January and just recently he attended the Nike camp at Penn State and the Elite 11 quarterback camp that was held at the University of Michigan.

"Coach (Bob) Johnson said that I can throw with the best of them and everyone loves my game film," Schlichter said. "I do a pretty good job of stacking up with or beside the other quarterbacks."

But there's still more work to be done by Schlichter in order for him to become an even better quarterback prospect than he already is. He didn't play basketball this past season so that he could train in Columbus and now he's running track to help improve his overall speed and conditioning for this coming season.

"I'm running track for the first time in high school and I only played football this year," Schlichter said. "I wanted to get out and be able to compete so I've been running track and track is going pretty well."

Schlichter has always played AAU basketball throughout the summer and he played varsity basketball as a freshman and he started for his high school as a sophomore on the hardwood.

"It was a pretty big thing for me not playing but there's some stuff that you have to give up and I figured basketball would be one of them," he said. "I'll probably end up playing next year just because I kind of missed it but it's one of those things where you just have to get yourself ready for what's ahead."

In track now Schlichter usually runs in the 100 and 200 and he's on the 4X100 and 4X200 relay teams.

"Track is extremely helpful for me right now," he said. "It's a matter of getting faster and stronger so you can get out there and compete. I've been running 11.3 (seconds) consistently in the 100. I don't think I'll make it out of the districts in the 100 but in the 4X200 we should qualify for the regionals pretty easily."

But football is still the main focus for Schlichter this spring.

"Our track coach basically said; ‘You can throw, you can lift and then you can come to track. You don't have to be at track practice every day for two hours.' " Schlichter said. "And then the main thing is that he's letting us go out and throw every day after school and then go to weight lifting and then go to track. So it's a good thing to keep in shape for football."

And then the summer is a time that is strictly devoted to nothing but football.

"At Trace we open up our weight room at 7 in the morning and we go from 7 to 8:30 for one lifting session and then some kids will go and play basketball," Schlichter said. "But a lot of us go from 7 to 8:30 and then we'll go from 8:30 to 10, and then we'll go and throw afterwards and run. So pretty much, for four or five hours a day and three or four days a week during the summer we're out there working on football."

And in addition to that, Schlichter will use any other available time to throw the football around even more.

"Our receivers always want to work so I'll throw three or four times a day during the summer," he said. "So we get a lot of throwing done here."

Led by Schlichter under center, Trace, who finished the regular season 10-0 last year but lost in the first round of the playoffs to Chaminade-Julienne High School who was without Javon Ringer, is almost certain to have a much better season this year.

"We have a great team. We're going to return 20 out of 22 starters this year and it's basically going to be a team effort this year," Schlichter said. "We've got a pretty good running back and with our wide outs we spread the ball around a lot. It's a good situation."

And the better the team does overall, the more credit is likely going to be aimed at their veteran signal caller. Already his name is almost always mentioned among the top three QB prospects in the state, with Mike Hartline and Nate Davis being the other two.

"You just kind of have to ignore that stuff. A lot of people can say stuff about you but have they really seen you play or have they come to a game? Anyone can survive off a highlight film," Schlichter said. "It's just a matter of what you do in the game. I don't really get caught up in who's better or stuff like that. I just have to do what I have to do."

And that is to help his team continue winning. The Panthers haven't lost a league game in two years now and they're in the midst of a 17-game regular season winning streak.

"We're hoping to extend that to a 27-game regular-season winning streak," Schlichter said. "Making the playoffs is a really big thing. We're Division II now and we've got a couple more teams on our schedule that are going to help us out points-wise throughout the year like Jonathan Alder and Clinton-Massie.

"We want to make the playoffs again, we want to go 10-0 and when we win our league it will be the third straight year that we win our league. But we want to try to win state. That's our goal. That's every single team's goal in the state of Ohio going into week one but we know that it can happen. We have the talent."

And Schlichter will certainly have to have a great season in order for Trace to accomplish all of their lofty goals. And he certainly is capable. Schlichter completed 60 percent of his passes last year while throwing for 1,700 yards with 19 touchdowns and four interceptions.

"I see the field well and I can make plays, that's my big thing. I don't go down easy. If a receiver isn't open I'll tuck it and run. I'll run eight or nine times a game," said Schlichter who scored four times on the ground last year. "And I don't turn the ball over. That's something that I hate to do and I don't do much of it. It's not acceptable at Miami Trace."

Schlichter not only speaks with conviction, he plays the game that way as well.

"Basically I like to complete every pass, most quarterbacks do," he said, "but you've got to have that competitive drive and a strong will to make it happen."

And he has a strong will to win as well. After a rocky first year when he led his team to a 3-6 record as a starter after taking over the job in time for the second game of the season of his freshman year, Schlichter has helped his team go 18-3 over the last two years.

"We had a pretty rough season in my freshman year," Schlichter said. "Coach knew it was going to be a rebuilding year but he knew it was just going to help me out. We try not to count that season at Trace because that was one of our coach's only losing seasons. He's only had two."

And a state championship season could push Schlichter's victory total to a level that not many high school quarterbacks are able to attain.

"If we go 15-0 this year, which is our goal, I'll be a 36-game winner and not a lot of people are able to get that," he said. "That's something that I want to achieve in my career. My class was supposed to be one of the best classes to ever come through Trace so we have a lot of expectations to live up to."

Schlichter himself knows a lot about expectations being the nephew of Art Schlichter.

"That's really not that big of a deal any more," he said. "My freshman year and sophomore year every one said, ‘his name is Schlichter and he's getting recognition because his name is Schlichter,' and as everyone has seen me play they're starting to realize that it's not because my name is Schlichter, it's because I can actually play some ball. There's a lot to live up to and you hear a lot of stuff with it, but I'm so used to it that it really doesn't bother me any more."

So Schlichter just takes the good with the bad because it is what it is.

"To tell you the truth a lot of people say that it's kind of scary how much we're alike, and not just on the field," Schlichter said. "People around from when my uncle played here see a lot of similarities between us."

But Schlichter, unfortunately, doesn't have much interaction with his infamous uncle now.

"We used to a little bit. It's kind of on and off sometimes," he said. "It really just depends on how things are going. With his situation it's kind of rough but we still try to talk with him. Of course we're not going to try to kick him out of our lives. He is my uncle and we love him but he's just sick."

His uncle's accomplishments on the gridiron however are something that Schlichter is very proud of, regardless of the personal problems he's had off of the football field.

"Yeah he's done some things wrong in his life. Gambling is an addiction and an illness," Schlichter said. "But what he did on the football field is something that no one can take away from him. He was a great athlete. And on the basketball court he was great. What he did when he played ball is something that nobody can every take away from him."

Many one-time fans of Art Schlichter's would obviously love to see the younger Schlichter at the helm on the field at Ohio Stadium and Schlichter even admitted that he would ultimately love to fulfill that same fantasy.

"Ohio State's a great place and I've been going to games there since my freshman year," he said. "I know the coaches real well and we have a good relationship but I don't know what's going to happen. I'm not sure if the coaches have made their decision (on a quarterback) yet. But relationship-wise I've been up there for so long and I know everybody and it's a good situation."

He will camp at Ohio State this summer regardless of whether he's in their plans or not.

"The main reason for camping there this year is because there are so many teams, other than Ohio State, at their camp," Schlichter said. "So instead of trying to go to every single MAC school that wants you to come in to watch you throw, they'll basically all be at Ohio State. So I'll camp at Ohio State this year."

In fact he'll be all around the Midwest this summer trying to attract someone's attention who is looking for a quarterback.

"I don't have any handwritten offers right now," Schlichter said. "Mainly everyone wants to see me throw first in person. A lot of schools have talked about it but they want to meet you first and they want to talk to you and make sure they have the right guy. So I'm in contact with a lot of people but I'm pretty wide open."

He's basically not certain about what's going to happen to him over the next couple months in regards to him being recruited.

"I'm not even sure at all about where I like and what I want to do. I'm just kind of taking it all in right now and I'm not in any huge hurry at all," Schlichter said. "But I would like to try to get everything out of the way before the season. It's kind of not fair to my team if I didn't. I'm just kind of going to let everything fall into place. I'm not really trying to push for any certain place. With my situation right now you have to keep your options open and you really can't pick favorites right now."

Realistically he would be just as happy playing in the MAC or the Big Ten. Miami of Ohio is one school that he seems to be really fond of.

"What they're doing at Miami of Ohio is just absolutely amazing, I really like it," Schlichter said. "The MAC produces good quarterbacks and I have no problem with putting a MAC school into my top group."

He's just happy to be a part of the recruiting process right now regardless of which schools are recruiting him or not.

"My goal is to go play college football and I'm actually getting a shot to have a chance to do that," Schlichter said. "And I think a lot of people actually take that for granted."

And if things actually worked out for Schlichter to where he was in deed pursued by the same university that his uncle went to, he certainly would be in favor of that, to say the least.

"When you live in Ohio it's kind of hard not to be a Buckeye fan," Schlichter said. "Of course I grew up as an Ohio State fan and an offer from there would be a pretty good thing."

The name, after all, seems to fit right in.

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