Focus '06 – Tyler Ladendorf

Maine West (Des Plaines, Ill.) wide receiver/cornerback prospect is receiving two-sport interest

Tyler Ladendorf, a three-sport athlete at Maine West High School in Des Plaines, Ill., does not yet have a scholarship offer but he is receiving interest from Division I football and baseball programs.

Ladendorf, however, has not competed in baseball this spring and may miss the entire season after having surgery in January to repair a torn labrum in his shoulder.

The 6-foot, 182-pound athlete initially injured the shoulder in baseball last spring, but doctors did not discover how serious the injury was until after he had played an entire football season and part of a hockey season.

"[I play] hockey and football and somehow I get injured in baseball," Ladendorf said in a recent telephone interview. "I ended up sliding into a base — because I slide head first sometimes — and ended up dislocating it."

But despite playing with an ailed shoulder, Ladendorf enjoyed a marvelous junior season on the gridiron, earning his conference's offensive player of the year honor and being named to the Chicago Daily Herald's All-Area team.

"They never knew it was torn," he said. "I played all football season and never had any problems. The injury, it is not susceptible to contact. I had absolutely no problems with it in the fall."

Playing in a wing-T offense, Ladendorf caught 34 passes for 606 yards and seven touchdowns and rushed for 568 yards and nine touchdowns on just 56 carries.

"They try to move me to different spots to give me the ball," Ladendorf said.

Also a starting cornerback, Ladendorf intercepted six passes last fall, returning two for touchdowns.

He is being recruited primarily as a wide receiver, which is his preferred college position. The schools sending Ladendorf letters for football include Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois, Northwestern, Purdue, Michigan State, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kansas State, Missouri, Iowa State, Arizona, UCLA, Georgia Tech and Miami (Fla.).

For baseball Ladendorf is receiving interest from Illinois, Indiana, Iowa and Missouri.

Would Ladendorf like to play both sports in college?

"If the opportunity is there I'm not going to pass it up," he said. "It's obviously something I want to do; realistically it would obviously be hard. I want to do it, but whatever it comes down to I'll make that decision a little bit down the road when I need to."

Growing up, Ladendorf said, his preferred sport was always baseball. "But I had a lot of success last football season so it kind of changed a little bit," he said. "Right now it is baseball season so I'm probably going to say baseball but if you would ask me in the fall it would probably be football."

Ladendorf started for the Maine West baseball team as a freshman and as a sophomore. A second baseman and leadoff hitter, he batted .392 with 28 RBIs, 14 stolen bases, 16 doubles, five triples and three home runs last spring. He earned Daily Herald All-Area acclaim in that sport as well.

After his stellar football season last fall, Ladendorf, who started both ways as a sophomore and junior, was invited to the national junior class combine in San Antonio in January. His time in the 40-yard dash at that event was 4.78 seconds, but Ladendorf said he has run as fast as a 4.60. He reported a bench press of 245 pounds and a 330-pound squat.

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