MEDINA — Jerry Klue is too mature to look past the obvious: Few schools are on par academically with the Big Ten’s Northwestern.
There also is an opportunity to earn an athletic scholarship as a preferred walk-on for the football team, so it’s easy to figure out why the Medina senior committed to the Chicago-based school.
“I’m crazy excited,” said Klue, who will major in mechanical engineering. “I’ll be honest, I’m totally in shock I’m having this opportunity.
“It was the best opportunity, in my opinion, with everything they offer — the opportunity for me to play Division I football and also get an amazing education and job opportunities in the Chicago area. They guarantee you internships. I couldn’t pass it up.”
Northwestern is ranked the 12th-best college in the nation, according to a U.S. World & News report. Its football team isn’t too shabby, either, with four bowl appearances under eighth-year coach Pat Fitzgerald.
Klue visited the campus three weeks ago and will initially receive a partial academic scholarship that will help cover the approximately $60,000-per-year cost.
The 6-foot-2, 196-pounder was influenced by Fitzgerald’s family philosophy, the Wildcats’ academic prestige and the construction of a new athletic facility that is scheduled to be completed within the next year.
“From what I’ve seen and what’s going on there with how much the coach (Fitzgerald) cares, I honestly think they’ll be competing with Ohio State, Nebraska and Wisconsin consistently in the next couple years,” he said.
Unsurprisingly, Northwestern recruited Klue for not a specific position, but for his versatility.
Despite missing multiple games due to injury, Klue played quarterback, fullback and wingback in the Bees’ pistol offense and finished with 697 yards from scrimmage and seven touchdowns.
The right-hander with a 3.8 grade-point average and 27 ACT score isn’t concerned about where he’ll play. He’s only concerned with donning the purple and white jersey at Ryan Field.
“The way I’m looking at it, I’m going to do everything I can,” said Klue, who also considered Army and Air Force. “If it works out, it does. If it doesn’t, I’m still getting a good education. I’m not having any worries I won’t get a spot (on the team). I’m confident I will find a spot, whether it’s one on special teams or somewhere else.”
Contact Albert Grindle at (330) 721-4043 or firstname.lastname@example.org.