Schulenberg wins national combine for high school football players

Kayci Woodley
Colton Schulenberg, a senior at Orion High School, poses with the trophy he won as the overall MVP at the National Underclassmen Combine.

S-c-h-u-l-e-n-b-e-r-g. You can bet more college football recruiters know how to spell that name now that it is attached to a national award.

On Saturday, June 4, Orion High School senior Colton Schulenberg participated in the National Underclassmen Combine (NUC) in Tiffin, Iowa.

At the end, he was named the overall MVP.

NUC is designed for high school football players serious about taking their game to the next level. The organization is respected nationwide, as players gain early exposure to colleges and recruiters while competing against the most talented in the country.

Athletes are compared only to players in their grade, and they are tested in the 40-yard dash, shuttle run, vertical jump, broad jump and bench press.

Schulenberg ran a time of 4.79 seconds in the 40-yard dash while at the combine. In the shuttle run, also known as the 5-10-5 drill, the player makes a 5-yard sprint, turns and sprints 10 yards to the opposite cone, makes another turn and sprints to the middle. Known as “Berg” by his teammates, the 17-year-old ran the drill in just 4.46 seconds.

Schulenberg leaped 9-foot-3-inches in the broad jump, impressed observers with his 29 1/2-inch vertical leap, and maxed out with 15 repetitions of 185 lbs. on the bench press.

As the Chargers’ starting signal caller, Schulenberg participated in the NUC quarterback drills as well.

Schulenberg was evaluated on accuracy, footwork, and coverage recognition.  

At the end of the four-hour combine, awards were presented to the best running back, wide receiver, tight end, defensive back, linebacker, quarterback and overall MVP.

Heading into the awards ceremony, Schulenberg knew his scores and expected to win the quarterback honor.

“We were sitting around at the awards and it got to quarterback MVP, and I thought I had won, because I knew my numbers ended up being better than the others,” Schulenberg said. “They announced some other guy and I was kind of angry, thinking, ‘What did I do wrong.’”

But frustration quickly became elation as the camp director began announcing his scores, but for a different award.

“It came to the overall camp MVP, and they started saying my numbers so I was really happy,” Schulenberg said. “Since I won, my stats will be sent out to every college.”

The 6-footer attributes his success to an eight-week

Acceleration program he and other Charger teammates recently completed. Through Acceleration, Schulenberg shaved off four-tenths of a second from his 40-yard dash time and increased his top end speed by two and a half miles per hour.

Along with Acceleration, many Charger teammates are in the weight room alongside Schulenberg each day.

Orion head football coach Chip Filler has seen a major increase in weight room attendance and describes the commitment level of his players as “phenomenal.”

“I think this award solidifies all the hard work Colton does,” Filler said. “That’s something he can look back on and see that all the hours that he’s put into the weight room or the extra stuff that he and his buddies all do has paid off.”

Along with toting home a three-foot trophy, Schulenberg now has a recruiting agent to help him in the college selection process and qualifies for the

Ultimate 100 Top Prospect Camp. Schulenberg’s agent will help find the top 100 colleges that fit the 185-pounder’s skill set.

“I think his options are really wide open,” Filler said. “I think he’s got a great opportunity to land somewhere and I wouldn’t even limit it down to 100.”

Upon receiving the overall MVP award, Schulenberg was interviewed on camera and will be featured on the NUC website (www.nationalunderclassmen.com).

“This being my first combine, it was a great experience to see how they run things,” Schulenberg said. “Overall it has helped me because it’s going to put my name out there.”

The same skills will be tested at the Ultimate 100 camp, followed by a 7-on-7 game to end the day. The Ultimate 100 camp will take place in Indianapolis, Ind., on July 10.

And who knows, maybe they’ll even be able to pronounce Orion correctly once Schulenberg is through.