We caught up with 6-1, 200 pound Illinois linebacker John Weidenbach, who is one of the fastest-rising prospects for the class of 2023. Fifth Quarter staff asked Weidenbach some questions as he prepares for his season, which kicks off March 2021.
Fifth Quarter: What is your goal for the rest of your sophomore year before junior year?
John Weidenbach: Considering that we had no football this fall, the goal is to prepare for the unexpected and to be hopeful for a season in the spring. My personal goals for the rest of the year are to continue to get faster, develop my shoulders more, and develop stronger hamstrings.
FQ: If you had to compare your style to a NFL/college athlete, who would be the closest to your style?
JW: I try to model my play after former Michigan Wolverine and current Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Devin Bush. He plays so fast and so physical. I try to mirror everything he does.
FQ: What major/degree are you hoping to purse in?
JW: I hope to pursue a degree in business.
FQ: Would you be willing to change positions if a coach asked you?
JW: I would do anything to help my team win. If switching my positions will help our team win, then I’d be willing to do it. However, I think my best fit is definitely playing the linebacker position.
FQ: Obviously the NFL is the ultimate goal. Besides that, what do you want to do post-college career?
JW: Other than going to the NFL, I would like to work in wealth management or consulting.
FQ: What is a fact about you that most do not know?
JW: I am one of six children. I have three older brothers who all played football. They were all very good at football. One of them was an all-state linebacker, another was an all-conference safety and wideout, and another was a very good hybrid/linebacker. I have two sisters. My older sister was a great dancer and my youngest sister is a great basketball player.
FQ: Who was your role model growing up?
JW: My role models growing up and still today are my grandpa and my father. I idolize both of them due to their leadership qualities and important things they have taught me. My dad challenges me to be the best man I can be and I love him for that.
FQ: What is your favorite drill to do in practice?
JW: My favorite drill has to be inside-run. It’s a drill where the running back and O-lineman go against the D-lineman and linebackers.
FQ: What are some of your hobbies besides football?
JW: I like to play backyard football and basketball.
FQ: What is one thing you love about your hometown.
JW: One good thing about Naperville is that it has a rich history and the people here are very good.
Other information about Weidenbach
According to his Rivals profile, the schools interested are Brown, Central Michigan, Dartmouth, Duke, Liberty, Texas Tech, and Yale. He has no offers yet.
Power Clean: 240lbs
Bench: 300 lbs