Schwartz Nearing A Decision

Dana Point (Calif.) defensive back Grant Schwartz is nearing a decision, but wants to take his time before making a final decision. Schwartz says Ohio State is his favorite, but is also strongly considering Oregon. Schwartz' father -- Brian Schwartz -- was a defensive back for OSU in the 1970's. We caught up with the younger Schwartz for the latest on his situation.

Defensive back Grant Schwartz from Dana Point (Calif.) seems close to making a commitment to Ohio State, but is keeping his options open for now.

"They are definitely still number one on my list, but I just want to wait and take my visits," Schwartz said. "I kind of want to commit to Ohio State right away. Ohio State is definitely number one, I just want to take a visit to Oregon to see what they have to offer."

Schwartz (6-0, 200, 4.41) will likely decide between the Buckeyes and Ducks, but there is one other school still hoping to change his mind.

"Washington State is still kind of in the mix, but not really," Schwartz said. "It's kind of just Ohio State and Oregon."

Schwartz says Ohio State head coach Jim Tressel is laid back and is not pushy in terms of asking for a verbal commitment.

"Coach Tressel is very good about that," Schwartz said. "He just said, ‘Take as much time as you want. It's a big decision in your life and I want you to be a million percent sure.' I was pretty happy with that – that he would approach it like that."

Schwartz is a three-year starter at defensive back. Last year, he also became Dana Point's starting quarterback and threw for 1,900 yards and 12 touchdowns. He also rushed for 500 yards and nine scores.

This season, through five games, Schwartz had 851 yards passing (63 percent) for nine touchdowns and three interceptions. He also rushed 500 yards for five touchdowns, with another touchdown coming on a 91-yard kickoff return.

However, Schwartz suffered a shoulder injury in week six.

"I got hurt two weeks ago and I couldn't play last week and we lost," he said. "And we had lost the week before to Mission Viejo, so that dropped us to 4-3. I'm hoping to play this week. Well, I'm definitely coming back this week, but I'm not going to play quarterback. I'm going to play some receiver and DB."

So, does that mean that Schwartz' days as a QB are over?

"I don't know, because it's the joint on the shoulder and it's kind of hard to throw right now," he said.

Schwartz is not just a one-sport athlete in high school. He's always tried to participate in two sports per school year.

"I played baseball my whole life," he said. "And then I stopped playing my sophomore year. I ran track last year for the first time and I think I'm going to run track again this year."

Schwartz is the son of former Ohio State defensive back Brian Schwartz, who played for the Buckeyes from 1976-79. Therefore, he has a vested interest in how the 2005 Buckeyes are doing. He says he's always been an OSU fan and has tried to watch as many games as possible this year.

"Obviously I was a little disappointed because the Texas game could have went either way," Schwartz said. "That was a heck of a game. You go in expecting to win, but if you lose that kind of game, it hurts, but it's not as big. But then when they lost to Penn State I was kind of disappointed because I thought that they should have won, but that's the way college football is. Penn State is definitely a young, talented team. They came out there and had the crazy crowd and Ohio State's offense struggled. But they're still in the top 10, or top 15 and I think that they'll probably win out and hopefully get in a BCS bowl."

Schwartz is ready for the recruiting process to be over. He's not a young man who craves attention and he does not like disappointing some of the coaches that he meets.

"I'm not a big fan of the whole recruiting thing," Schwartz said. "Because the coaches I've talked to, it's kind of hard because you get a personal relationship built up with every coach and it's hard to tell them that you don't want to go to their school, or you're not interested in them anymore. I know I have a really good relationship with coach (Tim) Beckman from Ohio State, the cornerbacks coach there. And then I also have a really good relationship with the corners coach at Oregon. So, it's hard because you get these deep relationships because you're talking to these guys every day and it's hard to let them down at certain times. So, I don't enjoy it that much. As soon as I'm 100 percent sure of my decision I'm going to make it."

Schwartz will likely be a safety in college, although he's not ruling out playing cornerback, or wide receiver.

"Ohio State and Oregon are both saying safety," he said.

Schwartz says he does not have a preference in terms of what position he will play.

"Anywhere on the field is fine with me," he said. "As long as I get on the field it really doesn't matter to me."

The experience of playing quarterback in high school could help Schwartz as a defensive back in college. Quarterbacks have to know the entire field. They know what receivers want to do, and what defensive backs want to do.

"It gives you a better perspective on the game," Schwartz said. "It slows things down for you on defense because when you see the quarterback dropping, or you see the kind of drop he's making, or the kind of routes receivers are running, you know the ball has got to be out at that time. So, it helps a lot with that. It helps a lot with the timing of everything. You know if he's taking that three-step drop, he's either going deep, or he's going to hit that quick route. So, you can break on it much better as a quarterback because you know the concept of what they're trying to do better than somebody who's never played quarterback."

Schwartz was asked what kind of player he envisions himself as in college. Will he be a big hitting safety, or a ball-hawking centerfielder?

"I think a mixture," he said. "I like doing both. I'd rather go for the big hit than the interception. I think that's more fun – unless it's a clear interception. I think a big hit can alter the game just as much as an interception can because a big hit, next time that guy is thinking about it."

Schwartz says Columbus already feels comfortable for him. His father has told him a lot about the city and the younger Schwartz has also visited OSU on multiple occasions.

"I've been out there a few times and it was kind of cold the first time," Schwartz said. "A couple years ago I went out there for the Ohio State-Michigan game, in 2002, when they played for the national championship. I got to feel how it is on game day and how it is there and all that stuff and that was awesome. Obviously it's probably one of the most amazing places to play football on game day in America. Pro, college, whatever level of football, it's definitely one of the best atmospheres.

"And then I got to go out there in the summer and see what it was like at that time when everything wasn't as hyped up and ready to go for a game day. So, it was definitely cool. I liked the area a lot. Obviously my dad has a lot of friends out there and I think I could adjust well there, because I would always have someone to go to if I needed to. I feel accepted there I guess is the best way to put it."

So, can fans expect a decision from Schwartz soon? Or does he think it will take a while before he is ready to pull the trigger?

"One day I wake up and I'm like, ‘Ohio State. That's it,' Schwartz said. "And then the next day I wake up and I'm like, ‘Well, maybe I should take my visits.' So, I'm not exactly sure yet. It could go either way. I know it's kind of a crappy answer."

Schwartz reports a 2.7 GPA and scored a 20 on the ACT.

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