Colonels' Schrantz Shedding Pounds And Tacklers
Posted: August 23, 2016
By WALT MOODY
The Winchester Star
WINCHESTER — Isaac Schrantz had a problem.
After finishing up his his junior season at James Wood last year, the second-team all-Conference 21 West offensive lineman knew he wanted to play college football.
But there aren’t a lot of programs clamoring for a 6-foot, 270-pound linemen, no matter how well they can block.
Since he wasn’t going to grow any taller, Schrantz’s answer was to get smaller and change positions.
And boy has he.
Since late October, Schrantz has dropped about 60 pounds and switched from blocking for running backs to actually carrying the ball.
Currently at a svelte 210 pounds, Schrantz will start at fullback for the Colonels this season.
It’s quite a transformation, but born out of necessity.
"I reached out to coaches and they came back with feedback saying I was small and I need to work on my base," Schrantz said. "I just took that in and I talked to Coach [Mark McHale] and we came to the realization that I needed to become a fullback. That’s where I made the change."
Schrantz was dedicated to the process.
During school, he was in McHale’s strength training class. After school, he ran with the track team, which he was a member. And after track practice, he worked out for three hours in a gym.
"After the water weight phase which was about a month, I could definitely see some changes within myself," Schrantz said. "At that point it was about 40 pounds and I could see a drastic change."
Schrantz never doubted that change would come.
"I feel like my parents [Charlie and Angie] really instilled it into me," he said. "We are very hard workers and I had chores growing up. There was no slack given. We had to work for our money. I feel like growing up I had to work for everything I wanted. I feel like I can accomplish anything I want."
His teammates knew he’d cut the pounds, too.
"I’m not really surprised, because he said that he wanted to," running back Keegan DeHaven said. "Isaac set a goal to lose weight and I knew he’d meet the goal."
Of course a lot of shedding the pounds and keeping them off is diet. Schrantz must stay disciplined.
"I stay between 1,500 and 2,000 calories," he said. "That keeps me in the range to maintain [my weight]. When I really want to lose weight, I cut back on calories even more and amp up my running."
A typical day starts with with eggs and yogurt and two cups of water. Away from school, it’s steak and rice for lunch, and steak or another protein for dinner. There’s also protein shakes.
During school days, Schrantz will eat a wrap and yogurt for lunch and drink water — lots of water. He estimates he drinks two gallons of water per day, which means lots of trips to the restroom. "At least five and that’s no joke," he chuckles.
Of course, all of this means nothing if he doesn’t play well at fullback when he was a proven commodity on the offensive line. He helped tailback Tyler Bishop rush for more than 1,500 yards last season.
"A lot of people really didn’t accept that they wanted me to change because I was a second team all-conference last year on the offensive line," Schrantz said. "They didn’t really think I needed to be a running back but I wanted to try to be the best I could be and help the team anyway possible knowing that Tyler Bishop was leaving."
So far, so good.
"He ran the ball last week on the first play 20 yards," McHale said. "He looked like a dag gone running back. He’s going to be a Walter Barr fullback. That’s what he’s going to be."
With the dropped weight, Schrantz has significantly increased his speed. His best time in the 40-yard dash last fall was 5.7 seconds. He’s run the distance in 5.06 seconds this fall.
And that’s speedy enough for McHale.
"When I was at Shepherd we had an All-American fullback [Bobby Pope] who had 1,500 yards rushing," the longtime coach said. "The Dallas Cowboys timed him and ran a 5.2. The next fullback we had ran a 5.3.
"He amazed me," added McHale, who himself has lost quite a bit of weight since last fall. "He worked hard. … He really got down and really worked hard and worked on his speed. We’ve got the right guy there."
While Schrantz is faster, he knows he’s not going to pull off any Barry Sanders moves.
"I’m just thinking about hitting someone," he said. "With my height, that’s my goal. I’m not really a shifty back. I’m just looking to lay someone out."
That doesn’t mean Schrantz is looking to run over everyone in sight. He believes he has an advantage over other running backs.
"Coming from a lineman, I know where the cuts are because we blocked and set up the holes," he said.
And when it comes to the blocking part of the fullback position, the Colonels know Schrantz can do that.
As a fullback, he’ll be expected to open holes for other backs and keep the pass rushers off of quarterback Dade Carroll.
"It’s nice because he is big and he used to play lineman so he knows how to block," DeHaven said. "That’s good."
"After being a lineman, he knows how to block," McHale agreed. "Most backs don’t know how to block. Even the pro backs, they don’t like that blocking, now. He’ll put that face up in there and he’s tough."
And like most of the Colonels, Schrantz will play two ways. He’ll return to playing the tackle slot on defense.
While he lacks the bulk, Schrantz feels he’s more effective at tackle. He’s maintained his strength and has more speed.
"I’m really good with the slants and the stunts," he said. "I’m really good with keeping my hands out and being shifty and getting off of the blocks. I feel way quicker. I can move my hands quicker. Everything just feels like lightning speed and I can use that against slower offensive linemen."
"He’s real quick in there," McHale said. "The first play of the scrimmage at Hampshire he was in the backfield and made a play for a loss and looked quick. He just looks quicker."
And he’s got more stamina.
"I’m running all over the field now and I’m not winded," Schrantz said. "… Usually before, I’d feel winded after five or six plays."
Schrantz hopes his play helps the Colonels win and his quest to play in college.
To the latter goal, he’s also got a website (www.isaacschrantz.com) with some highlight tapes that he’s edited himself.
"My mom is very supportive and she came to me with an idea of better ways to promote myself," he said. "Because I was in sports marketing, I saw no reason not to. We sat down one weekend and made [the website] and came up with everything to put on there. … It’s done well for me."
Schrantz wants to go to school that’s "someplace where I’m wanted" and McHale insists he’ll get the chance to show off his skills at fullback.
"He’s going to be our workhorse," McHale said.
From the looks he’s getting in the hallways, people are already taking notice.
"It feels really good knowing your hard work pays off and knowing people are looking and paying attention," Schrantz said. "It feels good."
"They respect him,"McHale said. "They’ve seen what he has set out to do — his goals and achieving them. They look up to him. He’s our team leader, vocally and everything."
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