Pratl is a big-timer

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It makes absolutely no sense to me why Shaun Pratl, Richards' 6-7, 230-pound tight end, hasn't received a single scholarship offer from a major Division I school. Not one.

Pratl, in my view is one of the top 25 tight ends in the nation. There is no question in my mind that he can play in the Big Ten. He has great size, can run 40 yards in 4.7 seconds and can catch the ball.

There may be some reasons why college football coaches have been reluctant to extend any offers. For one thing, there was some question whether Pratl wanted to play football or basketball in college. He is an outstanding basketball player. But he has made it clear that he wants to concentrate on football.

There also was a report that Pratl wanted to play tight end in college but several recruiters had mentioned that they wanted to put 40 to 50 pounds on his big frame and convert him into an offensive tackle. The youngster doesn't want to do that.

Finally, Pratl contracted mononucleosis in the spring and was unable to participate in any camps. Hence, he didn't get any exposure to college coaches.

Now that Pratl has had a chance to set the record straight, it is a good bet that he will receive many offers in the fall.

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MR. PRATL HAS TO DECIDE IF HE IS A BASKETBALL PLAYER
OR A FOOTBALL PLAYER WHO HAPPENS TO PLAY BASKETBALL!
ONCE HE CONVEYS WHAT HE IS, THE SKY IS THE LIMIT AS
FAR AS FOOTBALL, HE HAS ALREADY RECEIVED ALOT OF
ATTENTION AS A BASKETBALL PLAYER!

It shouldn't matter if he is a good football player or basketball player. He is good at both. Schools should offer him scholarships because he is a DI player in either sport. Somebody is going to get a steal in either sport he chooses.

Tom,

Is Pratl on Illinois or Northwestern's board at all? He would seem to be a great match at both schools, especially at Northwestern where they use a "superback".

I just saw recently in the Times the schools recruiting him and it is a bunch of mid-level and small schools.

Any updates as to the reason why the bigger schools have shied away from this kid?

It's ridiculous if the reasoning is that it is because he has not made up his mind about what sport he wants to play in college. If that's the case, just recruit him as a tight end and offer him the option to walk on in basketball. Or tell him upfront that the school is only interested in him as a football player and he will only be offered the scholarship if he concentrates on football.

As a Illini fan, I think it will be hard for him to get minutes as a basketball player anyway. Especially if all the commits Weber has received the past year honor their commitments. However, Northwestern could probably use him on the hardwood.

Regardless, I'd like to see Pratl in the Big Ten playing football in a couple of years.

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This page contains a single entry by Second Season published on August 3, 2008 5:49 PM.

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