by Chris Johnson (@chrisdjohnsonn)
Leading up to the season, Inside Northwestern will give you a preview of each of Northwestern’s 2012 recruits. Click here for previous entries.
Hometown: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Star Rating: 3-star, No. 52 TE
Ht/Wt: 6-5, 235 pounds
Other offers: Akron, Rutgers, Syracuse, Temple, Toledo
What's to like:
Coach Fitzgerald demands versatility out of his superbacks. In Schwaba, he’s getting a player who excels as a blocker and pass catcher, an explosive, dynamic athlete should make a great fit in NU’s up-tempo spread offense from day one. The 6-5, 240-pound prospect is big, strong and tough to bring down, but also quick and elusive enough to make plays after the catch.
Though he went to high school in Pittsburgh, Schwaba once lived in Chicago and is excited to return to his former home. He will be joined by HS teammate Ian Park, a three-star guard, both of whom have already begun summer school on campus.
“Knowing that Ian was committed to Northwestern, it was something even better to look forward to over the next four years,” Schwaba told PurpleWildcats.com in January. “Ian is one of my closest friends, I’ve known him forever. Just knowing that you’re going with a friend, you won’t be alone out there, it’s great. He’s a funny kid to be around. It’s just cool to go with your friend.”
Prospects for next season:
The Wildcats now enter the post-Dunsmore era, a future without one of the best all-around pass catchers in school history. On this year’s roster, there’s plenty of depth at superback—players like Tim Riley, Evan Watkins, Brian Smith, Mark Szott—but no clear-cut starter, which means Schwaba will have as good a chance as any to seize the starting job if he performs well in preseason camp.
It’s unlikely he’ll ascend the depth chart by week one, but I wouldn’t rule him out for some playing time later in the season. There’s no truly talented, Dunsmore-like player preventing Schwaba from seeing the field this season. At the very least, he provides depth at the position and could play a key role on special teams.
What he’s saying:
“They were all pumped and excited,” Schwaba told Purplewildcats.com last June, referring to NU superbacks coach Bob Heffner and Fitzgerald. “I’m their number one superback. I’m excited. I want to be a great player in that offense.”
What they’re saying:
“Northwestern coaches were high on Jack Schwaba during the recruiting process and remain so now. Schwaba is preparing to start at superback, as Pat Fitzgerald instructed him to do. With good size and athleticism, Schwaba could make an immediate impact."--Chris Emma, PurpleWildcats.com