HENDERSONVILLE – Michael Schmidt wants to find the right offense and a coaching staff which will nurture his ability at the next level.
Hendersonville’s all-time leading passer has other considerations though.
Schmidt (6,923 career yards) is one of the top students in the Bearcats’ Class of 2016 with a weighted grade-point average of 4.67. That explains why the quarterback may end up playing his college football in the Ivy League.
Schmidt is slated to take recruiting visits to Princeton and Yale in the next two months. Davidson offered a scholarship earlier this week.
Schmidt has also been talking to two service academies (Air Force and Navy) as well as East Tennessee State. Ivy League schools do not award athletic scholarships.
“(This weekend’s visit to Princeton) is going to be my first official visit,” Schmidt said.
“It’s going to be a new experience. I am going into it with a pretty open mentality. I just want to soak in the culture and see what the school is all about beyond the athletics. I’m stoked about it and trying to hit it at all angles. It’s crazy to think that opportunities like this have opened up.”
Schmidt’s career total for passing is the fourth-highest in Western North Carolina history. The 6-foot-3, 190-pound senior led all mountain quarterbacks in total yardage (4,363) this season, completing 213 of his 364 passes for 3,312 yards and 31 touchdowns with 14 interceptions. Schmidt ran the ball 214 times for 1,051 yards and 14 touchdowns.
“I’ll be the first guy to say I had a great year all because of great teammates,” Schmidt said.
“We played some really tough teams early on like Murphy and Reynolds. We shared the conference championship (in the Western Highlands 1-A/2-A) and that is something that is going to hang in the locker room forever. The bar has been set, and I’m excited for the guys to take it on next year and know they can go in with confidence. Playing football here at Hendersonville was just an awesome, great experience.”
Schmidt hasn’t decided for sure, but would like to major in either business or engineering.
“Michael is a real top-notch kid with great character,” Bearcats coach Eric Gash said.
“Whoever gets him is getting not just a good football player, but a great person off the field. He’s very involved in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes here and pound-for-pound about as good a kid as you are ever going to meet.”
National-signing day for football recruits is Feb. 3. The signing period for seniors then runs through April 1.