This season, Schwenke has played in all six games, including a start against Michigan State University, and posted three tackles.
Schwenke said his decision to play for the Irish was last-minute. As with Badger, a visit to campus won him over.
He was considered undersize when he showed up on campus, and building body mass and muscle has been a massive challenge.
“I had to gain weight, and I gained it too quickly. It took me a year to get used to my weight,” he said. “I knew coming here wasn’t going to be easy. The hardest part was the transition from high school to college academically.”
The nose guard appreciated one particular day in his sociology of religion class when the teacher gave a fair lecture on the LDS faith.
“When I took the class, I assumed we would just learn about Catholicism, but he didn’t just focus on the Catholic religion,” Schwenke said. “It felt good to talk about Mormonism.”
The highlight for Schwenke this season has been the camaraderie and brotherhood felt among his teammates and coaches, regardless of religious differences.
“We don’t feel different; we are all brothers on the team. We feel like we’re at home,” Schwenke said. “My whole time here has been a highlight of my life. Everyone is so close. It’s comforting for me to know I have another family outside of Hawaii, and I think everyone feels like that on the team. We share a tight bond.”
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