SHELBYVILLE — Whether or not Millikin was Tucker Schwengel’s immediate first choice, he wants to be the first choice for the Big Blue.
“Their starting quarterback graduated so it’s kind of all new,” the Shelbyville school passing record holder said. “I guess anybody can play there and the spot is open. I think it’s anybody’s job and I feel I’m the man for the job.”
Schwengel has announced his plans to go to the NCAA Division III school after getting earlier recruiting interest from NCAA Football Championship Subdivision schools Illinois State, Indiana State and Southern Illinois Carbondale.
“It just didn’t work out as I’d planned,” the 6-foot-3 senior said. “I went on their campuses and visited. They ended up choosing a different quarterback and I didn’t get the chance.”
But with Millikin coach Patrick Etherton getting in the recruiting picture midway through last season, Schwengel also liked what he saw in Decatur at Millikin.
“I really liked it there,” Schwengel said. “It’s really organized. They showed a lot of interest and they have a lot of new things for the program. It’s going in the right direction.”
Etherton must like what he saw from the Shelbyville quarterback.
“We are very excited that Tucker has decided to continue his career at Millikin University,” the Millikin coach said. “We had the opportunity to watch Tucker play a lot of football and basketball over the past two years and our coaches have been impressed with him as a leader as well as a player. He has had a great high school career and we look for him to continue that success at Millikin. Tucker comes from an offense that is similar to what we run at Millikin and we look for him to have an easy transition into our system. Our coaching staff strives to keep the local talent at Millikin University and we did a great job of keeping Tucker in the area.”
Schwengel the past season completed 124 of 204 passes for a school record 1,992 yards with 20 touchdowns and also rushed for 718 yards and seven touchdowns for a 5-4 Shelbyville team.
Finishing with Shelbyville’s career record of 4,711 passing yards, Schwengel as a senior was honorable-mention all-state, unanimous first-team All-Okaw Valley Conference and chosen to play in the coming summer’s Illinois High School Shrine Game.
Asked to assess his own abilities, Schwengel said; “I’ve got a good arm. I feel I can pass the ball wherever it needs to be. From (Shelbyville) coach (Stan) Wienke I know the passing techniques and I also can run.”
So now the dream of getting the chance to play college football has come.
“Ever since going into high school I decided that’s what I wanted to do and put everything I had into it,” Schwengel said.
Planning to go into law enforcement, Schwengel is an honor roll student, a DARE Role Model, a member of the Principal’s cabinet and selected for Boys State.
Contact Nielsen at email@example.com or 217-238-6856.