By: Greg Peterson, Sports Editor
Photo courtesy of Furman Athletics
Just on the outskirts of Greensboro, N.C. is the tiny town of Stokesdale. With a population of 5,336 people, it is the hometown of four-year football starter and senior captain, Matthew Schmidt.
Schmidt has been an integral part of the Paladins football team since he stepped on campus in 2014, gathering honors such being named to the Second Team All-Socon last season and a preseason All-SoCon pick for this season.
Despite all of Schmidt’s success at Furman, he was not heavily recruited by many Division One colleges while he was in high school. In fact, the Paladin coaching staff was recruiting another player from Schmidt’s small town school when they stumbled upon Schmidt’s previously undiscovered talents.
“When Furman was recruiting this other player, Coach Mounts (the previous offensive line coach) noticed me and felt that I was good enough to play for the university,” Schmidt says. “Mounts later called my head coach and offered me a scholarship.”
Now in his senior season, Schmidt was named as one of the four team captains. When asked about what it felt like being a team captain, Schmidt was very open about the modesty of the position.
“The humbling experience I have when I realize that my teammates respect me and look up to me, it is very humbling and an honor,” Schmidt says. “It’s about all the little things you can do to make your team the best it can be.”
Off the field, Schmidt is heavily involved in Fellowship of Christian Athletes and holds a leadership role in the organization.
“FCA (Fellowship of Christian Athletes) has been a big part of my college experience,” says the senior captain. “It has opened the door to grow me as a person and in my faith.”
Matthew is a business administration major and has a dream to continue playing football past college if the chance arises. He has a passion and an interest in the business world and has thought about a position in ministry.
Schmidt’s exemplary work on and off the field, passion, and humility are all reasons why he is this week’s Influential Paladin.
Senior center Matthew Schmidt is this week’s Influential Paladin.