Birthday: June 21, 1981
Strengths: Charles Rogers’ arch nemesis awaits his chance to join him in the NFL. Dueling in track meets and football games during their high school tenures, then later on Big Ten football fields, Stuart Schweigert will get another chance at meeting his friendly foe once again in 2004.
A receiver in high school and once recruited by Nebraska to play option quarterback, Schweigert picked up the nuances of the free safety position quickly at Purdue, earning accolades from the conference as their Freshman of the Year in 2000. Schweigert has shown good speed and excellent range from the beginning, and he is always in position to make the play. He led the Boilermakers in tackles his first two seasons and finished third on the team as a junior.
Schweigert plays in a Purdue defense that blitzes frequently and often plays man-free coverage, which allows him to show off his keen run-pass recognition skills. He knows where to be on the field and he uses his natural pass-catching hands to siphon interceptions from opposing offenses. And in already besting former All-Pro Rod Woodson as the career interception leader at Purdue, Schweigert now has the opportunity to put that record way out of reach this fall.
Areas for Concern: Schweigert had been injury-free until he missed the first game of the 2002 season with a sprained knee, then he suffered a calf muscle strain that limited his play later that season. An abdominal pull kept him out of spring practices, but he has since recovered and is expected to be at full health this fall. The injuries, however, might have slowed him down in the weight room. Though he’s a reliable tackler, Schweigert could use additional strength to become a more physical tackler with ball carriers.
His alcohol-related infractions have been far more troubling than any injury he has sustained to date. Cited twice for underage drinking as a freshman, Schweigert was arrested this past spring on a separate count of public intoxication. Despite failing the sobriety test, he was lucky to avoid a drunken driving charge due to a technicality.
Schweigert has said that the nagging injuries led to his decision to return to Purdue for one final season, though had he continued the same accelerated progress he showed his first two seasons, he would have surely bolted for the NFL in 2003. Generally thought to have been underrated heading into last year, now some believe he may even be a little overrated heading into his senior season. So did Schweigert really hit a plateau last year, or were injuries to blame for a less-than-spectacular, though quite solid, junior campaign?
How Does He Look in Steel Blue? Schweigert is a team leader and fan favorite, playing with tons of heart and energy. His best games last year were against Purdue’s toughest opponents – Notre Dame, Iowa, and Ohio State – where he amassed 36 tackles, 3.5 of which were for a loss. Schweigert then added 10 more tackles and two forced fumbles against Washington in the Sun Bowl.
Schweigert enjoys giving back to the community, teaming with Rogers to host a day camp for about a hundred under-12 kids at his old high school. He’s a student of the game and posts good grades at Purdue, so if Schweigert can find a way to stay off the sauce, he would be a great guy to upgrade Houston’s secondary in 2004.
(profile written by Keith Weiland
Stuart Schweigert’s 2002 Stats G TCK PBU INT FF FR 12 89 4 2 2 1
Stuart Schweigert Return to The War Room
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