Milwaukee QB has far-flung favorites

Riverside signal-caller Zachary Schwabe benefited from combine trip

Zachary Schwabe's statistics at Milwaukee Riverside High School are probably best categorized as mediocre. But after his showing at the U.S. Army National Combine in San Antonio last month, college recruiters are taking notice of the 6-foot-4, 188-pound class of 2007 quarterback prospect.

About a week after the combine, Schwabe said in a recent telephone interview, he received summer camp invites from Notre Dame and Boston College. And in the time since the combine, Hawaii has begun recruiting him.

Those three schools are Schwabe's early favorites. Boston College has shown the most interest; Schwabe actually took an unofficial visit to BC in the fall to see the team face North Carolina State.

Schwabe would be thrilled to end up in South Bend, Ind. His cousin, Tiffany Robak, a senior at Milwaukee Pius, will be a scholarship diver at Notre Dame next year.

Receiving sudden interest from Hawaii—in the form of an e-mail from a coach soon after the combine—showed Schwabe that he made a positive impression with his throwing display in San Antonio.

"It's kind of weird because the e-mail came kind of out of nowhere," Schwabe said.

According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Schwabe completed 41 of 108 passes for 396 yards, seven interceptions in three touchdowns in his junior season. As a sophomore he was 46 of 110 for 732 yards, nine interceptions and seven touchdowns. Riverside has struggled to win games, going 7-12 during that time period.

"We're a pretty weak team unfortunately," Schwabe said. " Not real strong. Last year was the first time we made the playoffs in six years."

Still, Schwabe has managed to draw recruiting interest from major college programs.

What about the University of Wisconsin?

"Honestly, I don't think they even know I'm here," Schwabe said. "Well, they probably know, but I don't really send anything to them because I really want to get out of Wisconsin for college. But, if I do get something from Wisconsin, I just want to play. That's basically me. I just want to play."

Schwabe is hoping to build his frame up to 200 pounds soon.

"I'm just eating peanut butter sandwiches," Schwabe said jovially. "I'm trying to get to 200. Seriously I'm eating seven meals a day. It's pretty bad."

There is a method to that seeming madness.

"Actually… our weightlifting coach, he was a body builder," Schwabe said. "An all-natural body builder, so he knows how to gain weight, how to get bigger, faster and such."

Schwabe will actually have a year of college under his belt by the time he graduates high school. Next year he will take most of his classes at Milwaukee Area Technical College, through a program that pays for tuition for high school seniors with strong academics. Schwabe has a 3.8 grade-point average and will be pursuing a degree in fire science at MATC.

Academics are a major reason why Schwabe is interested in Boston College and Notre Dame.

"That's exactly what I'm looking for is more academic," Schwabe said. "Grades come first because I know football is not going to last forever. Football is just take it for a ride as long as possible."

If the football recruiting process does not lead to a scholarship offer, Schwabe would be content completing his fire science degree and becoming a firefighter. If he were to choose a football scholarship at a four-year school that did not offer a fire science degree, he would major in biology or a related field.

What is his best attribute as a football player? His arm strength, he says.

"I've just got a rocket of an arm, basically," Schwabe said. "I just break fingers. That's my pride and joy. You think I'm kidding. I'm not. Last year it was three. So I just keep a count."

Are you serious?

"I'm dead serious… a linebacker actually was one of them," Schwabe said. "He tried to intercept the ball and he broke his middle finger."

For the record, the two receivers who broke fingers did not catch the passes Schwabe threw.

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