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Lincoln Way East’s 2019 QB Jack Baltz transferred in from Alabama his junior year and helped the Griffins capture a state title in his first season in Illinois. We talked how he’s prepping for another deep playoff run, schools showing the most interest in him and also his upcoming visits.
Lincoln Way East
Commitment status: Undecided
Wt: 190 lbs
LPI: Tell me what you’ve been doing to take your game to the next level. Also, do you play any other sports in the offseason or do you play 7on7?
JB: To take my game to the next level, I have been focusing on working with a personal weight trainer, working one-on-one with my QB mechanics coach and reinforcing those drills daily. Also, nutrition, speed and agility drills, QB IQ and watching a lot of tape. It is very important to me to keep throwing with my teammates in the offseason, which I do several times a week. Plus, I just really love it and have fun doing it. In the past I really enjoyed playing basketball but this year I have decided to focus solely on football. In Alabama, I competed in 7 on 7 leagues and spring HS tackle football. This year I am focusing completely on our LWE team, prepping intensely and being the best QB I can be for the upcoming season.
LPI: You transferred in your junior season and were part of a team that captured the 8A state title. What’s it like coming off a state title? Do you feel the need to work that much harder to repeat as state champs?
JB: 2017 was a terrific season with an awesome outcome winning the 8A State Championship and going 14-0. The team, the coaches, the community at LWE made it so special. Winning drives me to dig in even deeper…. train harder, focus more and practice with a purpose. I feel a great responsibility to my teammates, coaches and school to never be satisfied and always strive for more. This year we have one goal, to win another State Championship. We have the talent, a great coaching staff and we know what it takes. It is up to all of us to do our jobs, lead, execute and get it done.
LPI: What are your greatest strengths on the field and do you consider yourself a leader?
JB: I am heavily trained in the Spread and the Run Pass Offense. I have an extensive background in QB IQ, mechanics, footwork, defensive and offensive football reads, watching and analyzing tape. I believe this makes me a stronger player on the field. I think my height at 6’5” and overall release point of 7’9” gives me the ability to step up in the pocket to make big throws, key throws over big defensive lines. My quick release time, which I am always working on, is a strength as well. I have pretty good speed (4.71 Nike Verified in the 40 yd) athleticism and agility for my size. I have been taught to respect this game as a team sport. It is about all of us doing our job well and executing at the highest level. A huge part of my job is to be there for my teammates, lead, and encourage everyone. I couldn’t ask for a better group of guys to play with – we are truly a football family. I lead by being prepared, analyzing past decisions and learning from them, never quitting, being very thankful for my line, blockers, receivers, our defense, being team focused, and using my competitive drive to make things happen.
LPI: What schools have shown serious interest in you or may be close to offering?
JB: The schools that I have the most contact with are Harvard, UAB, Ball State, Louisville, Davidson, Yale, Miss St, Ole Miss, Penn, South Dakota, Florida, Case Western Reserve, and Denison. Recently I’ve met with North Dakota State, Northwestern and Purdue. My decision will be based on the program and the school’s character, championship mindset, quality of education, and being part of a “family” environment is very important to me.
LPI: Do you have any planned visits set? If so, where at and when?
JB: This fall we were solely focused on winning state, so on Saturday’s we practiced, prepared and reviewed game tape so I was not able to attend the majority of games I was invited to as a prospect. I did however get to Cincinnati vs UCF and University of Chicago vs. Case Western Reserve. I was also invited by Florida, Florida State, Louisville, Toledo, Ball State, Iowa State, UAB, Penn, EKU, and Harvard. This Spring I plan to attend some select junior days/spring games and unofficial visits. I’m working now on setting all of that up for the coming months.