|Hometown/School:||Voorhees, Nj. (Eastern Regional HS)|
Sometimes a competitive personality overrides logic and supersedes your best judgment. NJ offensive lineman Phil Trautwein has spent the summer with a cast on his foot because competitive juices wouldn't let him stand on the sidelines at the Penn State Nike Camp.
"Before I went to Nike Camp, I went to the doctor and he said if you go there, there's a chance you might break (your foot). I went there not even going to do anything but when I saw all those big offensive lineman I got real competitive and I broke my foot after that," said Phil about the stress fracture he's had mending since then.
Despite the injury, colleges have been drooling over Phil since very early in the spring. So far he has twenty offers, but schools like Michigan State, Iowa, Boston College, Clemson, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Rutgers have all offered and all stand out.
Are those seven schools listed in order?
"Yeah, I think so," admitted Phil, saying that the three Carolina schools are lumped together in fourth with Rutgers in the seventh hole.
Michigan State and Iowa have been on the 6'7'', 300 pounder since the beginning. Both Big Ten schools are not only impressed with his massive frame but also his quick feet. Phil has consistently run a 4.7 20-yard shuttle, a stat coaches look at for lineman over any 40 time. Those quick feet helped the future left tackle to amass 50 pancakes last year, without giving up a sack.
Despite having twenty offers, does Phil still maintains an interest in a couple schools that have not yet sent him a scholarship.
"Florida and Penn State. They're going to recruit me (in the fall). All I had to do was go to their camps and they were going to offer me, but I've got a broken foot, I have the stress fracture in my foot. I'm going to the doctor tomorrow, so hopefully it's healed so I can get back," admitted Phil.
"Tennessee too. They said all I had to do was walk on to their campus and talk to their coach and I would have had an offer."
Where Penn State fit into the mix?
"It was number two going into the recruiting process. If they offered, they would be in my top three, but they didn't."
"They said it was 100%. They just wanted to see if I was coachable. Coach Ganter knew I was and he had heard a lot about me, so he said that after I went to the camp they would have called my coach with an offer. They would have offered me on the spot at the camp," said Phil, who expects the Lions to recruit him throughout his senior year.
After the Nike Camp, Phil had his only opportunity to get a look at Penn State's campus.
"It was pretty cool. The facilities are really nice and the stadium's huge," said Phil. "Adam Taliaferro showed me around the whole campus and stuff. He went to the same high school as I go to and my head coach was his assistant coach, so they know each other. So when I went up there, Coach Biddle got him and we went to dinner with him."
During the tour, Phil had the chance to meet Nittany Lion starting quarterback and Taliaferro roommate, Zack Mills.
Along with Penn State, Phil has visited Rutgers, Michigan State, Florida, and Maryland all on unofficial visits. This weekend he will be taking another unofficial visit to Lansing to check out the Spartans.
"I'm up to Michigan State July 12th to July 16th for their camp. So I've already been there and now it's going to be seven days there, so I don't think I need to take (an official) visit because I've already seen everything," Phil said, who already knows he will take an official visit to Iowa.
Could Penn State be a recipient of an official visit?
"I don't know, if they offer. I just got off the phone with them today [July 7th] and they were having a meeting about me to see if they were going offer me (in the fall). If they offer, I definitely would visit," said Phil, who called Coach Ganter at his office.
Phil believes he has a strong list of schools, but a decision does not see to be on the agenda in the near future.
"I'm thinking maybe January, after season, after I take my five visits. So I can see who else comes in. I know Miami's interested. So we'll see what happens," explained Phil.
(Interview by Steve Curry)