#ThrowbackThursday Alumni Edition: Catching up with TJ Schepperly (TC Central / Northwood University)

All-State QB TJ Schepperly (Traverse City Central) is among the host of talented prospects who will attend Sunday's Senior Exposure Camp.

All-Lake performer TJ Schepperly is continuing his football career at Northwood University after starring at Traverse City Central.

T.S. Quick Facts:

Height / Weight: 5’8 / 185

Current College: THE Northwood University

Current/Projected Position: Wing Back(running back)

Major: Marketing/Sports Management

High School Career Highlights: My number one highlight was being able to play my senior year with my little brother. Watching him grow and develop into something special makes me a proud brother. He was a huge part of our team’s success. The other highlight would just be doing what I love with the people I love. An amazing team, a great crowd and student section, and a community that came together as one big family. The support our team  received throughout high school is what made it special. 

LMFR: What positions did you play at the high school level? What position did you believe you would be playing at the collegiate level?

TS: In high school I went to Traverse City Central and played quarterback my junior and senior year. At the college level I had no idea what I wanted to play. Didn’t have much height for QB, never really played the DB position all that much and never showed that I could run between the tackles because most of my runs were to the outside. I guess I just went in with the mindset that I was willing to play anywhere. I currently play wing back after switching over from strong safety during the fall.

LMFR: What is your current major and what do you plan to accomplish with that major once you graduate? How do you balance academics and athletics?

TS: My current major is marketing. My plan is to double major with sports promotion management and hopefully do something where I’m involved with a major sports franchise. Balancing academics with athletics is tough if you don’t stay on track. You have to be disciplined in knowing that you’re at school, number one for an education and number two, to play football. There are study halls and tutors and the coaches are always there for you if you need help. But the biggest thing is constantly reminding yourself of why you are here, and that is school and football.

LMFR: How is college football different compared to the high school level?

TS: College football is definitely tough. Not only is everyone bigger, faster, and stronger, but the overall time commitment is very intense. It’s a year round game. some days are 12 hours of just football. Offseason does not exist in college. Between the regular season and spring ball you have winter conditioning and winter workouts. The summer is the only short time away from your team and that time is used to gain a step on your opponents while they’re enjoying their summer vacation. That’s also what makes it special, because the guys that do commit to it have a true love for the game of football and want to be successful.

LMFR: Weight lifting is such a vital part in transferring from high school to college athletics, how has weight lifting helped you perform better on the field and at your specific position?

TS: In high school I was lucky enough to have some of the best strength coaches at that level for the state of Michigan. They worked extremely hard to get our weight room where it’s at today. It’s definitely up there for one of the best facilities in high school in the state. They take their job very seriously and prepare us everyday just like they do at the collegiate level. If you want to compete on the field, then you have to work hard in the weight room. College is the exact same way. The workouts are slightly more position directed. For example, the running backs, receivers, and defensive backs are more speed and explosive lifts, while the lineman have heavier, more powerful lifts.

LMFR: As a high school student-athlete attending the Lake Michigan Football Report combine, what were some things you experienced during the event that helped you reach the collegiate level?

TS: Exposure. Getting your name out for coaches to see is a huge part of the recruiting game. If they recognize you as a junior, they will be able to see how you can perform come fall. The drills at the combine are the same type of drills the coaches ask you to do when you come for your workouts so that is another huge benefit. If you know what they are asking of you, you can practice it and perform well for the coaches.

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