Madison, Wisconsin. – At just 24 years old, Keonte Schad has already played for three collegiate programs and two professional football teams. And yet, the Wisconsin native may be just getting started in his accredited career.

Raised in Madison, Schad was a standout athlete in baseball, basketball, and, of course, football. Though baseball was his favorite of the three, Schad excelled most in football, calling it a “natural fit” for him. 

Years later, Schad posted 48.0 tackles and 3.0 forced fumbles in 12 games played as a freshman at Ellsworth Community College in Iowa. These numbers earned him a scholarship with the Golden Gophers at the University of Minnesota for his sophomore year. After two strong seasons, Schad transferred to Oregon State for his final year.

Keonte was invited to workouts with the Arizona Cardinals and Seattle Seahawks. It wasn’t until he received a call from a coach of the XFL that he found he played his first game in professional football.

Drafted by the Orlando Guardians, Schad found himself under the perfect defensive line coach in Ty Warren, a former Super Bowl Champion with the New England Patriots. Schad took quickly to Warren’s coaching.

“Playing for [Ty Warren] was a special time for me. He gave us so much knowledge and the tools to go out and be great.” Schad.

He had a short stint with the Guardians and then switched mid season to the New Orleans Breakers of the USFL. Schad was impressed by the level of talent he was surrounded with. “There are better athletes at those positions you’re going against in the USFL. Guys are so much better from a technique standpoint,” he said.

Opposing talent didn’t do much to deter Schad from producing breakout numbers in his rookie season in the USFL. Schad posted 7.5 sacks and 9.5 tackles for loss  in the regular season, both were the highest among all defensive tackles across the league. 

Schad’s persona goes beyond his play on the field, however. He finds himself continuously inspired by pushing himself to create his own brand and stand for his beliefs.

Schad’s Instagram profile is unique. All of his posts feature the phrase “BLM” as the tagged location.

“People say BLM (Black Lives Matter) is a phase that has passed, but I want to keep it going. It’s my way of spreading awareness and showing where I stand,” he said.

His Instagram page also follows another pattern; each of his posts are in black and white.

Schad said, “I wanted my page to be bold, and I think the black and white does that. I’m a basic person, a pretty straightforward guy, so I think it shows that about me.”

The defensive lineman hopes to leverage his unique identity and skillset to carve a long-time career for himself. For him, this starts with maintaining connections across professional football.

Back in Wisconsin, Schad participates in training sessions with Pittsburgh Steelers offensive guard James Daniels, a friend of his. Schad also notes that he keeps in touch with several of his collegiate teammates, many of which were drafted into the NFL. 

Above all, Schad recognizes the importance of giving back to youths of the local community. During his tenure at the University of Minnesota, Schad completed over 150 hours of volunteer work at the Ronald McDonald House, Sannah Foundation, and other organizations.

“​​It means the most when you notice the impact you’re making. When the kids express how much fun they’re having, or just thanking you for spending time with them, is where you get that sense of joy,” Schad said when asked about his time volunteering. 

There’s no telling just how promising Keonte Schad’s football career can be. There is, however, a certainty that Schad will remain a strong role model for the next generation. 

Leave a Comment