Spartans Schaller likes all Northwestern offers, gives verbal commitment
Patrick Schaller felt like it was predestined.
Living only about 20 minutes from Northwestern University, going to football games there growing up and visiting multiple times since, it only made sense.
On Nov. 13 the Glenbrook North tight end -- 6-foot-6, 220 pounds and still a junior -- gave his verbal commitment to the Wildcats football program.
"It just came down to the point where I can wait maybe for other offers, but I didn't really want anything else in a college," Schaller said.
"Northwestern just had everything I wanted in a school and there was no other school that has what they have, and there was no point in waiting anymore. It was the place I wanted to be."
Schaller had offers from Boston College and Central Michigan, and said he'd visited Notre Dame, Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa and Minnesota.
Northwestern -- where Schaller said rejoining former Glenbrook North offensive lineman Jackson Carsello was a definite lure -- was there from the beginning.
Schaller built connections with offensive line coach Kurt Anderson at a visit to Glenbrook North, and then with Wildcats tight ends coach Jeff Genyk.
Schaller said he had an "amazing" summer camp at Northwestern, and while the Wildcats were tempted to pull the trigger with an offer based on Schaller's size, hands and athleticism, they wanted to see more catching and blocking in game situations.
"I did what I had to do," Schaller said.
Also a basketball recruit before he took himself off that market, Schaller this fall responded with a second straight all-conference selection in the Central Suburban League South, to go with successive Illinois High School Football Coaches Association Academic All-State honors.
Despite Spartans starting quarterback J.J. Schlenhardt being out injured for five games, Schaller tied running back Reese Marquez for the team lead in receptions with 25 and led Glenbrook North with 274 yards receiving, nearly 11 yards a catch to lead all regular receivers.
"Patrick is an incredible football player with unlimited potential, we are fortunate to have him for one more year and we can't wait to see what kind of football player he turns into at the next level," said Spartans coach Matt Purdy.
"The colleges who have expressed interest in him have described him as having a pro-level body, so his future is very bright. Northwestern is getting a great young man who will lead on the football field and on the campus."
Schaller likes Northwestern's high academics, its Big Ten affiliation, those connections with coaches and, of course, the Evanston university's proximity.
"Being right next to home, my family can come on by," he said.