Oregon pushing hard for Schaffer

Lake Forest (Ill.) two-way lineman Thomas Schaffer has one program pushing for him harder than any other. Here, he talks about that, his visit plans, and more

Back in January, Oregon offered talented two-way lineman Thomas Schaffer from Lake Forest Academy in Illinois. The three-star prospect hails from Austria and since picking up that offer programs like Wisconsin and Nebraska have jumped into the fray, pushing his stock higher and higher.

Despite the growing competition, Schaffer told eDuck.com that Oregon is the program that contacts him more than any other. His primary contact is defensive line coach Ron Aiken whom Schaffer says tries to stay in contact about every other day.

“I’m most in contact with Coach Aiken,” Schaffer said. “Every time I can, we talk on the phone sometimes. The defensive coordinator (Don Pellum) reached out to me yesterday and I’m trying to get in contact on the phone with him and then I want to get on campus.”

Oregon likes how Schaffer is a seemingly great fit for their current 3-4 defensive scheme and due to his 6-foot-7 stature, he’s receiving comparisons to former Duck Arik Armstead, who could go in the first round of the NFL Draft next month.

Schaffer wanted to make it out to Oregon during his spring break, but the Ducks have yet to start spring practices. At some point in the spring, he hopes to make it to Eugene for an unofficial visit to check out what it's like when football is in session and to explore the updated facilities that he's heard are second to none.

“I’m trying to get out there,” he said. “I’m also trying to get out to see some schools in California. Maybe, I’m probably going to get to the spring game.”

Those California schools include Stanford, UCLA and possibly USC. He recently returned from a very successful unofficial visit to Wisconsin and said Vanderbilt is also pushing hard for him.

“I get really hard recruiting from Vanderbilt and Stanford,” he said. “(They’re) also some standouts for me because they run the same defense. I saw Wisconsin the other week. They recruit me really hard as well. They run a 3-4 defense and they also think I’d be a perfect suit for their defense as well.”

Schaffer has no favorites and is planning a lengthy recruitment if only because he may not have another choice for what he wants to do. He plans on taking all five of his officials, but due to where he plays he’ll have to delay his trips due to his schedule.

“In our league we don’t have Friday night games too often so it’s going to be very hard for me to get out somewhere,” he said. “For officials, I’m going to take my time and go after the season. Just see the five schools and then after I’ll take a week or two off and just brainstorm about that and just make my decision based on that.”

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