Connor Schulte can have his cake, and eat it too.
Schulte, an Oswego senior and middle linebacker for the football team this past season, knew he’d be going to college for studies. With a 4.1 weighted grade-point average and 1,430 SAT, that wasn’t really in question.
Football was, but he answered it.
Schulte decided two weeks ago that he’d be attending Division III Rose-Holman Institute of Technology in Terra Haute, Indiana, as a student and football player.
He made it official at Oswego’s Signing Day ceremony last Wednesday, becoming the 10th senior member of the football team to go on to play at the next level.
“I finally sat down and put all the pieces together. Everything was leaning toward them,” said Schulte, who also considered Purdue as a student only. “I was always in it for the academics. As long as [football] is an option, I’ll take it.”
Schulte joined Oswego’s Josh Shodipo (Western Illinois), Levi Olson (Wisconsin-Platteville), Dayne Millard (Augustana), Nathan Ricken (Carthage), Ben Graue (Washington University St. Louis) and Raymond Chmielinski (Indiana Wesleyan) in signing last week. Noah Shannon (Iowa), Julian Bell (Wisconsin-Platteville) and Cody Krahula (College of DuPage) previously signed.
Oswego East had BJ Graves and Kyle Eberly sign with the University of Indianapolis, and Garrett Fiduccia and Jack Cooper sign with North Central. Antwain Walker signed with Northern Illinois in December as an early enrollee.
For Oswego, the 10 seniors make up 42 percent of the football team’s senior class – the highest percentage head coach Brian Cooney has had go on to play at the next level.
“Each kid is different,” Cooney said. “A guy like Noah probably knew going into freshman year that they wanted to play in college. Some of them probably had to have a little more confidence that they could play at the next level. I think all of them have the talent to contribute.”
Schulte has come a long way in a relatively short time.
He barely played on the sophomore team two years ago, and was a varsity backup as a junior. But he lifted every day, adopted a diet that included five egg whites every morning and four peanut butter and jelly sandwiches every lunch, and went from 150 to 185 pounds by May of last year. He finally got his chance to shine last season for the Class 8A quarterfinalists.
Before that, Schulte attended a football camp at Rose-Holman over the summer.
“It was an option, in my league, I could play football there,” said Schulte, who plans to pursue a degree in engineering. “After a season I took a break and thought things over. It’s a chance to play the sport I love and get a good education.”