Austin Schlottmann enters his junior season in a new role: that of team elder statesman. That tends to happen when your team graduates a high number of front-line players.
"[We want] to be the best we can be, keep getting better and have fun," Schlottmann said. "I just want to help the team in any and every way I can."
That includes emerging as a leader. Coming out of his sophomore year, Schlottmann found himself as one of the few returnees on a Brenham team that got younger overnight after losing such standouts and leaders as Timothy Cole and Malcom Brown.
"I definitely feel like leadership is key because a lot of guys that haven't played on varsity before," Schlottmann said.
That list doesn't include Schlottmann, who started for the Cubs and emerged as an impact player in the trenches as a sophomore. His performance led to many — including this site — tapping him as one of the top offensive tackles to watch in the state in the class of 2014. But Schlottmann suffered an Achilles and foot injury that kept him from participating in the camp circuit, and put him immobilized in a boot for a time.
"It was hard," Schlottmann said. "I wanted to be out there working out with my team during offseason so bad."
But that didn't stop Schlottmann from hitting the weight room, pushing his weight up to 285 pounds on his 6-foot-5 frame. While he isn't fully healed yet, Schlottmann put his status at 90-to-95 percent, and he looked strong in a recent scrimmage and drills against Round Rock Westwood. When he's at 100 percent, his film shows what college coaches love to see: a mauler with length and the athleticism to get out and make blocks on the move.
While Schlottmann doesn't have any offers yet, he has attracted attention from Texas, Oklahoma and Texas A&M, attending an Oklahoma satellite camp, and, through visiting with Texas defensive ends coach Oscar Giles, he plans to make a visit to the 40 Acres this fall. He isn't sure which game yet, but Schlottmann said that he grew up a Texas fan.
While a decision could be a ways off, Schlottmann said he would be looking for a school that offered a good education, and one that made him feel comfortable.