Recruiting picks up for SMN’s Schneider after breaking all-time state passing yards record
Overland Park Shawnee Mission North senior quarterback Will Schneider would have rather came away with a win Friday in the Class 6A quarterfinals against SM East to prolong his high school football career, but the four-year starter still put his name in the record books in the 41-25 loss to the Lancers.
Schneider — who was named as a Simone award semifinalist Monday as the best football player in the Kansas City area — broke the all-time state passing yards record with 8,901 yards to surpass the mark previously set by Silver Lake's Kyle Kruger (2000-03) of 8,781.
"To break the record, it was a really cool accomplishment. It was one I had set freshman year, and I didn't know how tangible it was until I actually got close to it," Schneider said. "Then when we won in Lawrence, I was thinking, 'Next week, I could probably break this record.' It was definitely a cool thing to do while being with this team and finally winning some games and turning the program around."
The SM North quarterback threw for 3,035 yards with 31 touchdowns to just seven interceptions in his senior campaign. Schneider also rushed for 608 yards and 12 touchdowns. The number most important to Schneider, though, was six — the win total he led the Indians to this season.
"Me and my dad, freshman year we had talked and we were just thinking about like, 'I don't know how many games I'm actually going to win in my high school career.' I'm going to love playing at North," Schneider said. "I'm going to love being with these guys, but me and dad were like, 'I don't know if I'm going to win six games in my career.' To actually win six games in one season, we kind of laughed at it when it was all over because it was very surreal."
The Indians' 6-5 season marked the first time since 2003 that they had finished over .500. Between leading the Indians to the state quarterfinals and breaking the all-time state passing yards record, the recruiting process for Schneider has started to pick up.
"I thought I was getting closer to a decision just really being able to step back now from football, and be like, 'Oh, OK. Now I can start talking to these schools.' After I broke the record, some schools started texting me," Schneider said. "Some schools started noticing me, so now I'm like, 'Oh gosh, I have a little bit more wiggle room with some schools.' I'm going to keep talking, keep enjoying the recruiting process right now and try to figure out what place fits best for me."
On Tuesday, Schneider listed Northern Illinois, South Dakota State, Dartmouth and Kansas as schools that he has received congratulatory text messages after breaking Kruger's record.
Schneider attended KU's prospect camp in July, and has been invited for a visit to Kansas' game Saturday against Texas. Former Kansas linebackers coach Kevin Kane was the lead recruiter on Schneider prior to leaving for Northern Illinois in January to become the Huskies defensive coordinator, hence why the SM North quarterback has received interest from both schools.
South Dakota State is one of three Missouri Valley Conference schools that Schneider has received interest from. The SM North senior also attended Northern Iowa's camp over the summer, and is considering Missouri State.
While Schneider has not visited Dartmouth yet, he acknowledged that Big Green head coach Buddy Teevens has reached out to him more than most of his other suitors.
Schneider made it clear that he is not close to a college decision right now, but he's prepared himself to excel academically at an Ivy League school like Dartmouth. Schneider maintained a 3.5-plus GPA going into his senior year while taking a variety of advanced-placement classes.
Although Schneider's prep football career is over, he'll be under a different set of lights Friday night with teammates Danny Presler and Marcos Garcia and his other Advanced Repertory Theater classmates in the production of 'A.R.T. Deletes the Emails'.
The high school athletic career at North is far from over for Schneider, too. Schneider is one of three returning starters from the 2015-16 6A state championship basketball team. While the Indians are losing a combined 45 points per game in Marcus and Michael Weathers — who are now playing collegiately at Miami (Ohio) — Schneider is looking forward to leading the way this winter with fellow seniors Avante Williams and Danny Bradley.
"We're looking forward to getting the chance to step up and have a chance to be that guy out on the basketball court because that's what you want to be. You want to be that guy that, 'Oh, if he has a good night tonight, we could win this ball game by like 20,'" Schneider said. "So we're just going to work hard. I know Danny and Avante are excited because they're going to have great senior seasons without a doubt."
Schneider will also join another defending state championship team in the spring. The three-sport athlete has switched back and forth back track and field and baseball over the past three years. Schneider showcased his arm strength as SM North's left fielder last spring, but he'll be throwing the javelin for the SM North track and field team after basketball season wraps up.