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Cougar chooses CMU

Cougar chooses CMU
Cougar chooses CMU
North Harrison senior Bryan Schroeder needs 1,959 yards this season to set the state's new all-time rushing mark. (Photo by Brian Smith)

The letters started pouring in his sophomore year. Rushing for more than 2,500 yards in a season at the varsity football level is sure to drive attention, and it did.
Now, heading into his senior season, North Harrison’s Bryan Schroeder has made a decision on a college: Central Michigan in Mount Pleasant, Mich.
How many letters has the running back received since his sophomore year, you ask?
‘Well into the hundreds. I couldn’t put a number on the amount of letters I’ve received,’ he said.
For Schroeder, he wanted to make a decision before the Cougar season begins this Friday at West Washington. Last season, the letters turned into phone calls from coaches. Central Michigan, Ball State and Purdue all came to Ramsey to visit. Also, Big Ten schools Michigan, Indiana and Iowa continued to show interest in the 5-11, 220-pound back. For him, Schroeder decided on being a Chippewa for Central Michigan next season with a verbal commitment.
‘I think the biggest thing is they showed me more interest than anybody,’ he said of choosing Central Michigan. ‘I was their number one running back recruit. They began to call and text me often, letting me know that I was it for them. I guess that is what did it for me.’
Central Michigan plays in the Mid-American Conference. Last season, they won the MAC title, were in the pre-season top-25 and won the Motor City Bowl.
‘We told him Central Michigan is a good school,’ his head coach Jason Mullis said. ‘They won the MAC last year and they go to bowl games almost every year.’
Mullis, who helped Schroeder in the recruiting process with game tape and recommendations, is glad the decision is behind the team. He said he expects more schools to recruit Schroeder as the season goes on and the already interested schools such as Iowa and Purdue to continue to lure the elusive back. High school seniors can’t officially sign a letter-of-intent to NCAA Division I schools until after the season during designated signing periods.
‘We don’t get too many Division I kids around here,’ Mullis said. ‘It doesn’t happen too often in Southern Indiana that a kid commits before going into his senior year. It’s nice to know that regardless of what happens, he’s got a scholarship.’
This past off-season was busy for Schroeder before making his decision.
‘I went to four one-day camps this year: Iowa, Central Michigan, Indiana and Purdue,’ he added. ‘I did well in all of them. I think what they mainly looked at was my game tape.’
One-day camps are designed for colleges to bring in possible prospects to have workout. During his sophomore year, Schroeder was invited to a few including the Nike Combine, which really got his recruiting going.
It was during his sophomore year that he realized he could play at the Division I college level.
‘I love playing football,’ he said. ‘I didn’t think I had the potential to play college football until my sophomore year. I started to look into the speed and size of the running backs. That’s when I realized I could really play on a college team.’
He garnered attention from the likes of Indiana and Notre Dame during the sophomore campaign. After rushing for 2,043 yards and 26 touchdowns last year, the recruiters from all over were really after him.
This season, with the decision out of the way early, Schroeder said he can focus on North Harrison’s goals. The school has yet to win a conference or sectional title in its history, and the current Cougars would like to change the record books.
‘I’m not worried about my stats this season,’ he humbly said. ‘It will be a real disappointment if we don’t win conference. Sectional could be intimidating with Heritage Hills and their history, but I’m definitely excited about taking our shot. Everyone has worked hard. This year, we’re a better team because we have some really, really great seniors.’
If Schroeder runs for 1,959 yards this season, he will set the all-time rushing yardage record in the state., an internet recruiting database, ranks Schroeder at 61st among high school running backs in the country. He is regarded as a three-star athlete by their standards.
For North Harrison High School and their faithful fans, it will certainly be a treat to watch No. 2 break a few more tackles before watching him on Saturdays in the future.