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Published: Thursday, 5/10/2012

St. John's grad gets Bengals tryout

Schaetzke played at Georgetown

Andrew Schaetzke Andrew Schaetzke

A final exam in global financial markets and institutions on Wednesday evening signaled the end to undergraduate studies for Georgetown University's Andrew Schaetzke.

A job interview with the Cincinnati Bengals awaits him today. Schaetzke, a FCS All-America defensive lineman who prepped at St. John's Jesuit, hopes to earn a contract by the end of a three-day rookie camp and delay the start of a career in finance.

The Bengals did not draft Schaetzke, nor did they give him a contract as an undrafted free agent. What they did offer him is an opportunity to showcase his abilities and prove himself worthy of a roster spot heading into the summer.

"I want to give football a shot for as long as I possibly can," Schaetzke said by phone. "Once that stops, I'll try to get a job in the real world."

He has plans to graduate May 19 with a finance degree and has informed prospective employers of his desire to first give football a shot. He was drawn to Georgetown, which competes in the lesser FCS division of college football, over Mid-American Conference programs because of Georgetown's sterling reputation for scholastics. In addition to being named academic all-league twice, his football accolades were plentiful. He was the 2011 defensive player of the year in the Patriot League and the Eastern College Athletic Conference and was name an All-American by numerous panels. His 22.5 tackles for loss were sixth in the nation and his 13 sacks ranked eighth. With Schaetzke creating havoc on defense, the Hoyas won eight games, the most since 1999.

"You don't see many guys in the Patriot League get NFL tryouts," St. John's coach Doug Pearson said. "Those guys go there to be senators."

Schaetzke will go to Cincinnati to be an NFL player. Reality might intervene, pushing him into the business world. Or maybe he'll defy odds and be invited to come back.

"I'm going in there with an open mind and trying to do the best I can so I can secure a spot on the team," he said.

Contact Ryan Autullo at: rautullo@theblade.com, 419-724-6160, or on Twitter @RyanAutullo.

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