Q and A with Craig Claire, Drew Pikey & Zack Schuler

Q and A with Craig Claire, Drew Pikey & Zack Schuler

The Washington University in St. Louis football hosted Case Western University Saturday at Francis Field in University Athletic Association (UAA) play. 

Senior offensive linemen Craig Claire, Drew Pikey and Zack Schuler reflected on the past four years at WashU with Assistant AD for Communications Chris Mitchell. 

What have you learned from playing under head coach Larry Kindbom for four years?
CC: I have learned a lot from Coach K during my time at WashU. However, I believe the most impactful lesson has been his motto: "Faith, family, academics, football." Having my priorities in life figured out has made stressful situations easier to handle.   

DP: Coach Kindbom was the first college football coach to call me junior year of high school, and that left a big impression on me. Throughout my four years here, he has taught me many lessons. The one thing that stands out is that there is no one person bigger than the team. This isn't as much a value as it is an attitude. Having the attitude of team first affects your decision-making on and off the field and molds you to a culture that is bigger than yourself. 

ZS: I have learned the importance of a positive mental attitude which has been very helpful on and off the football field. 

What is the key to playing in the trenches?
CC: To be able to play line on either side of the ball but especially offensively, a player has to have self-discipline and football intelligence.  Unlike other positions on the field, small mistakes made by an offensive lineman may go unnoticed by the crowd and even the coaches. Because of this, a lineman has to know the mistakes he has made and strive to eliminate them moving forward.   

DP: The key thing to playing in the trenches is moving your feet. I have Schuler on my left and Page on my right ready to stomp on my feet as soon as I stop moving, so you learn very quickly that the only option is to keep them moving.

ZS: The key to playing offensive line is being aggressive and lower than the guy you're going against. 

What is your favorite aspect of running the no-huddle offense?
CC: The efficiency of the no-huddle offense cannot be matched. Other teams we have faced that huddle up and waste the game clock seem almost stuck in the past. The no-huddle offense challenges us to be in better physical and mental shape than other teams. I believe this has helped us have success during my time at WashU.  

DP: My favorite part of the no-huddle is that it wears out the defense faster than our offense. We are used to playing at this speed, and when the defense starts to wear down, it just makes everything easier.

ZS: My favorite aspect of the no-huddle offense is how tired it makes the defense, making it easier to score. 

What is your favorite football memory at WashU?
CC: Besides the moment we found out about our playoff bid freshmen year, my favorite memories are probably the Chicago games.  Holding the Founders' Cup is always an amazing way to end the regular season. 

DP: My favorite football memory at WashU has got to be helping Coach K get his 200th win. It is truly an honor to be a part of such a winning legacy, and helping him celebrate on the field after the win was exhilarating. I know it means a lot to Coach, especially since he has dedicated so much to this team, and getting to honor that with a Gatorade shower on the field was a blast. It has been awesome seeing this team mold and come together as a family this year. I truly feel like this team is special and hope this isn't the last Gatorade shower this year for Coach K.

ZS: My favorite memory is making the playoffs our freshman year.

What are your future plans upon graduation from WashU?
CC: I have no concrete plans, but I am actively applying and looking for mechanical engineering jobs near Savannah, Ga., where I plan on moving after graduation. Ideally, I would  find a job in the manufacturing or aerospace field. 

DP: A lot is still up in the air, but I am planning to work for a few years with the goal in mind of starting my own business in the long run. Right now, I am looking into consulting firms and taking advantage of as many opportunities as I can.

ZS: I plan on finding a career in marketing or supply chain management after graduation.