When Lake Zurichlinebacker Colton Moskal orally committed to Syracuse earlier this month to play football, it wasn’t just a dream come true for him.
It also appears to be the perfect fit.
Just days after announcing he’d be wearing the traditional “Orange” colors of the University in upper New York upon graduating, he was on the social media site Twitter (where’s he’s known as @Colton_Moskal), already attempting to recruit future teammates.
This, despite the fact he hasn’t played a single down there yet.
One of Moskal’s posts to a potential recruit, on June 24, said in part: “Hey man you know the family would love to have you,” and “let’s make it happen.”
This, after Moskal was flooded with 140-character Twitter posts from current and former Syracuse players and alumni himself asking him to play for the Orangemen in the days leading up to his announcement. It helped.
“Seeing so many people online asking me to play for their school was a pretty humbling experience,” Moskal said. “It wasn’t a huge factor in my decision, but it certainly didn’t hurt having that kind of support. It definitely caught my attention.
“I mean, the guys there just seem like a family. I knew pretty quickly that Syracuse was the place I wanted to be. The academics at the school were an important part of my choice. So was playing for a top-notch program like theirs in the Atlantic Coast Conference. And I kind of wanted to get it over with and let everyone know where I was going so it wasn’t a distraction.”
During the 2012 season, Moskal anchored a Bears defense that made it to the IHSA Class 7A semifinals. He led the Bears with 93 tackles, racked up 6.5 sacks, had three fumble recoveries, several blocked kicks and tallied a safety for good measure.
If those numbers weren’t impressive enough for the senior, he comes with blazing speed (4.5-second 40-yard dash last year), while making a habit of punishing opposing offensive players. Libertyville running back Conor Simpson, whose Wildcats upset the Bears in Lake Zurich last Fall (a 3-0 shutout) in terrible weather conditions, says you must be aware of Moskal on the field at all times.
“He is an athletic hard-nose linebacker that can ruin a play in seconds,” Simpson said. “He is probably one of the hardest hitters I have ever faced.”
In February, Moskal received his first NCAA Division Ioffer when Minnesota came calling. From that point on, the competition heated up fast. Moskal is strong academically (3.85 GPA), and it’s that very intelligence his coach, David Proffitt, says helps him continue the tradition of standout linebackers the past decade at Lake Zurich.
“Any time you have a player D-1 schools are interested in, that’s a real compliment to your program and the people who’ve set the example at that position prior to that,” Proffitt said. “But also, it’s a chance for someone (like Colton) to continue that legacy by setting an example for the younger players who play here after he does.
“What happens then is, colleges will take a closer look at your school compared to others. Because you have a tradition of so many quality players at one position, it gets our kids extra looks they might not otherwise get. So what Colton does, for example, actually has a lasting effect on everyone else around him here too.”