It seems likely that the Columbus North football team has an impact tight end this season.
But can a tight end have the kind of impact that a quarterback or a rush end might have?
“Tight end really is not one of those attention-grabbing positions,” Bull Dogs coach Tim Bless said. “The statistics are not the highest for that position.
“But where a tight end can make a huge impact is on the practice field. Who are your leaders? Who are your best performers?”
Only a junior, the 6-foot-5, 240-pound Drew Schoeberl is being recruited by Division I universities and seems to have a bright future. Bless said he expects Schoeberl to make a contribution worthy of a player of his stature.
“Last season there was a rookie factor,” Bless said. “This year he comes in with swagger.”
Schoeberl’s swagger might have something to do with a productive club team and camp circuit summer. Playing for Prep2Prep Elite 7, he was named offensive MVP of a tournament in Cincinnati.
“I did have a good summer,” Schoeberl said after practice Monday. “I am excited, but I don’t want to get cocky.”
Instead, he wants to help his team, so much so that he might play defensive end as well. And a rush end certainly can have a huge impact.
“It’s time,” Bless said of Schoeberl playing defense. “His ticket might eventually be on defense. He can give us what Thomas Shoaf gave us (all-star play on both sides of the ball his senior year of 2012). And he’s really taken to it.”
Schoeberl admits that he was a little skeptical at first about playing defense, but he wants to help the Bull Dogs rebound from a 3-7 record a year ago.
“If I just play one way, I can get mad and then have to come off the field,” Schoeberl said. “Now I can go hit someone.
“And I really am one of those kids who doesn’t want to come off the field.”
Opponents should be looking to hit Schoeberl more this season. He caught just one ball for two yards in 2013 as North’s passing game struggled.
“Last year I didn’t get too many catches, but we are looking to pick it up in our receiving game,” he said. “I am bigger, stronger, faster.”
Bless said for his team to be successful it needs to get the ball to Schoeberl.
“He is not going to beat anyone on a stretch route, but he will be a force once he gets the ball in his hands,” Bless said.
Most players love to have the ball in their hands, but Bless said Schoeberl’s greatest strength is blocking. North rushed for 2,506 yards last season, and Schoeberl was a big part of that effort.
“He can and will relentlessly block you,” Bless said.
Schoeberl said it can be frustrating at times when he spends all of his time blocking.
“But then I see the film of all those pancake blocks, and that gets you excited,” he said. “You can see that you are helping the team out. That really is my strong suit, and I have played offensive line since I started playing football. I love it.”
If he gets the opportunity to catch more balls, so be it.
“I think if you have a good tight end (in terms of receiving), it can be pretty much like stealing,” Schoeberl said.
With a summer under his belt working with North junior quarterback Mitchell Kelley, Schoeberl might be charged with grand theft by the end of the season.
“Mitchell is more comfortable with me now,” Schoeberl said. “It will be easier.”