It is the calm before the storm. Stanford fans and alums are gathered around the TV just waiting and anticipating this year's Heisman announcement. But before all hell breaks lose (if McCaffrey wins, or not), ATH Harry Schwartz has committed to stay instate and play for the Card the next 4 years. Schwartz is a preferred walk-on so that means he won't be on scholarship his first year. This also means that this won't count against Stanford's scholarship limit. The Los Angeles, CA (Brentwood High School) product took to Twitter to announce his commitment. Other schools he was looking at were: Duke, USC, and Yale.
As a junior Schwartz was voted as the offensive player MVP of his league and this goes without saying, but he was voted on the all-conference team. His junior year he reached over 1000 yards receiving and managed to catch 10 TDs. His senior year he was again voted to be first team all-conference as he accumulated 917 all purpose yards and 14 TDs. As well as playing offense, Schwartz, played on defense as a DB. His last 2 years in high school he totaled 6 INTs.
Watching Schwartz junior year highlights and then going onto his senior year highlights one thing was certain. He tightened up his route running. At first, Schwartz would rely on his speed to get home, which is fine if you just want to be a high school receiver. He would get behind the defense and catch 40-yard bombs. Then his route running became more concise his senior year and he became more of a college player.
Something that stayed consistent throughout his footage was his ability to pinpoint the ball when he was covered. This is where his days at FS came in handy as he was able to out jump his defenders and bring down the ball. Pinpointing the ball in the air is a great skill, but actually bringing it down is what Schwartz excels at. One instance in particular is when he is running a fade route. He can find the ball in the air and then turn his hips all the way while jumping over the defender (the ball was short) and steal the ball right out of the defender's hands. This is a great combination of his pinpointing and his catching ability.
I got the chance to catch up with Harry Schwartz right after his commitment and here is what we discussed.
My first question would be why did you choose to walk-on at Stanford and what other colleges were you considering?
Education is my priority so naturally I couldn't turn down the opportunity to get a Stanford degree. Also, the coaching staff was unbelievably kind and professional. I felt at home immediately on the farm. Last, but not least, the team is awesome and it feels like a privilege to be apart of a program like Stanford. I can't wait to contribute in any way I can. I had tremendous support at UCLA and Duke. As well as spots on many great academic DIII institutions such as Johns Hopkins, MIT, Carnegie Mellon, Pomona and Macalester. Also, I had lots of interest from the Ivy League (Harvard, Yale, Princeton).
The academics at Stanford are a pivotal recruiting tool for Coach Shaw and company, all the recruits are first to say that academics was a huge factor in their decision making. Since you brought up academics what do you want to study at Stanford?
The choices are so great and so varied that it's easy to get excited about everything. It's too early to know for sure but I'm definitely a math/science guy. I am also interested in environmental studies, biotech, and econ. Kid in a candy store.
Ok now let's get back to football. Was there a receiver or defensive back that you've looked up to or have tried to model your game after?
Yes, definitely, more than one. At Brentwood, my biggest role model was Garrett Swanky, a friend and teammate who went on to play at Brown University. Hard worker, great student and great friend. Through my 7on7 teams, 1925 All-Stars and Fratboyz, I was blessed to be inspired by some of the best in the West. Including Francis Owusu, Ishmael Adams, Bryce Treggs, Adoree Jackson, among others. My coaches always pointed to their work ethic and gave me concrete examples of hard work paying off.
What do you think is your strongest asset as a football player and what is something you think you need to improve upon?
My strong suit is my determination and relentless work ethic. I am a strong believer that there is always room for improvement in all areas of my game. Get better every day. I can't wait to grow and progress under the great coaching staff at Stanford.
As senior year is coming to a quick end, what do you look forward most about next season? What are your expectations for the team and for yourself?
More than anything I look forward to being a part of the team and the brotherhood. Stanford Football is high expectations. As for myself, I just hope to work hard and represent Stanford well.
Now to wrap up this interview, have you been in contact with any of the other California commits such as KJ Costello, Curtis Robinson, or Beau Bisharat?
Not yet, but I hear they are great guys and I look forward to meeting them.
That is all the questions I have for you, thank you. Just wanted to say it has been a pleasure talking to you and I hope you do well on those finals (Backstory: We had to delay the interview because Harry was studying for his finals. Already getting into the Stanford academic mindset.).
Look forward to following your work.
Be sure to follow up with Schwartz as he continues his football career and also check out Schwartz's highlights courtesy of Hudl.