Junior to Watch: LB Andrew Schantz

One player whose stock has skyrocketed following the Nike Camp at USC is Canyon HS's Andrew Schantz. The 6'0, 220 pound linebacker came out of nowhere and put on a show, running a 4.52 40, jumping 30 inches on the vertical leap, and putting up 21 reps on the bench. All of this and he also excelled in the position drills. Are the Trojans in the mix for this fast rising star?

WeAreSC- What schools are you looking at right now?


Schantz- "Well, I'm getting stuff from the Pac-10 mostly right now and then I get some questionnaires from outside of the Pac 10, from Colorado, Colorado, Boise State, Fresno State, people like that."


WeAreSC- Is there a school you might be leaning toward or do you have a top-5?


Schantz- "Oh no."


WeAreSC- Do you have any offers?


Schantz- "No, I haven't received any offers."


WeAreSC- What are the factors that you're looking at in choosing a school?


Schantz- "Well, the first one is definitely going to be education.  If I'm going to go to a school, I want to receive the best education possible.  Second, is of course going to have to be the sports program, you know, how respectable or how well heard of is the program.  And then third off is probably going to be location, because I kind of want to stay close to home but then again I also kind of want to get out of Santa Clarita and see what else is out there."


WeAreSC- You mentioned that you're getting a lot of attention from the entire Pac-10.  So is USC one of the schools that you're considering?


Schantz- "Yeah, you know USC is a very, very good school as far as academics, and I think their football program is just going to be better and better as the years go on.  So that would be a definite possibility.  If they did decide to offer me something I would definitely be interested."


WeAreSC- Have you had a chance to meet any of the coaches at USC yet?


Schantz- "No."


WeAreSC- Have you had a chance to visit the campus?


Schantz- "Only when I attended the Nike Combine there."


WeAreSC- Speaking of that Nike Camp, you really made a name for yourself there.  Talk about that experience.


Schantz- "I was talking to my mom about it after and I told her that it was probably one of the greatest things that I could have done.  You see kind of the same types of athletes year in and year out in your conference, you know like being in the Foothill league, you kind of just see the same players over and over.  You never see what's outside Canyon Country and even what's outside of California.  I think that was a good opportunity for me personally to see what kind of competition was out there."


WeAreSC- You put up some pretty impressive numbers there.  What did you think of your performance? 


Schantz- "I was definitely pleased with how I performed.  I was a little nervous going into it but as the day progressed, I was pleased with everything that was going on."


WeAreSC- Did you get a chance to meet any of the other recruits at the camp?


Schantz- "I met…I think his name was Collins from Mission Viejo and also two guys from Long Beach Poly.  I can't remember their names but they were pretty good and I guess well recruited."


WeAreSC- What linebacker spot do you play at?


Schantz- "I play inside linebacker."


WeAreSC- Do you play any offense?


Schantz- "I'm like a short yardage type of running back.  You know, fourth and short or fourth and goal, anything like that."


WeAreSC- When you're at your linebacker spot, what's your mentality out there?


Schantz- "I think the main thing is you just have to be fearless.  I mean, I kind of go out there with that mentality, and you get more of that kind of mentality as the year progresses.  It's just kind of like the mentality that you're going to go out there and I think to myself that there's going to be no one out there that can block me or there's going to be no running back that's going to break my tackle.  That's the kind of mentality that I go out there with."


WeAreSC- Do you have any of your stats from last year?


Schantz- "No, I don't"


WeAreSC- I heard that you competed in a weight lifting competition the day before the Nike Camp.  Obviously lifting is something that you take seriously.  Talk about that.


Schantz- "Well, I think everyone hopes for the fourteen week season, and just to get prepared for that kind of challenge you have to be a lifter and be well conditioned.  Lifting for me is a big part of that.  Especially at the linebacker spot, you have to deal with offensive linemen coming up on you, pulling from every angle, and I think strength is a big part of it, to shed blocks or to take someone bigger than you on.  So that's a big part of our whole team mentality.  We're always in the weight room, always lifting, and always jumping on each other to just try to push it and push it.  I mean, that's a big deal for all of us."


WeAreSC- Do you have your max on the bench, squat, and clean?


Schantz- "I put up 300 on the bench, 305 on power clean, and 475 on squat."


WeAreSC- Do you play any other sports?


Schantz- "My freshman year I played basketball and ran track, but then after my freshman year I just kind of sat down and thought, ‘I'm not a world class sprinter and I'm not Shaquile O'neal.  It's kind of a waste of my time.'  So I just thought I might as well focus my attention on what's going to get me to the next level."


WeAreSC- What are your plans for the rest of the summer?  Are you going to any more camps?


Schantz- "I probably won't be making it to any more camps because our summer schedule consists of practice and passing leagues.  If I can, I'm going to definitely.  If I can, I'm going to try to make it to a camp."


WeAreSC- Do you have any idea which camp you might like to go to?


Schantz- "No."


WeAreSC- If the right offer comes along would you consider committing early or do you plan to go through the process?


Schantz- "I would really like to wait until after the season, just because I don't want to be tossing and turning over decisions, taking me off of my game.  Going out and performing bad because I'm worried about something.  So I would rather just play my season stress free and then worry about trips and offers after the season."

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