While a majority of his teammates are in the weight room or grinding on the camp circuit, Lake Forest (Ill.) High lineman Thomas Schaffer took a different approach. With plenty of scholarship offers to choose from, Schaffer decided to spend the summer hanging out with those closest to him in his native Austria.
“It’s great to see all of my family and friends again,” Schaffer told BadgerNation. “It’s great to come back together with the football community here.”
Schaffer got his start in football at 13 years old, transitioning from playing basketball, judo and soccer, and has been getting better every year since playing for Austria U-19 team and arriving in the United State in August 2013. That’s generated the interest from many colleges and forcing many coaches to find ways to communicate with him over the Atlantic.
“I have got a little mail but most of the contact is on social media or facetime (since that works internationally),” said Shaffer, who returns to the States August 10. “I’m hearing from Wisconsin, Stanford, Oregon and Kentucky the most.”
Of the four mentioned schools, the 6-7, 260-pound Schaffer has arguably developed the stronger relationship with the Badgers.
“I was most in contact with Coach Tibesar at first but then I got introduced to Coach Breckterfield,” said Schaffer, who could play either offense or defense in college. “Ever since they’ve contacted me together or came on school visits. I really like the coaching staff.
Wisconsin is also the only school of the four mentioned that he has visited, coming up to see Madison in mid-March.
“I had a talk with Coach Chryst at the unofficial, and it was great to experience Wisconsin for one day with the coaches. They were with us for about 8-9 hours on that visit. (The campus) looks great. I love the lakes.”
Rated a three-star prospect and the No.41 offensive tackle in the country by Scout.com, Schaffer is planning on making his college choice in December after taking some official visits.