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Butler QB Schnur prepared to add physicality to high-powered passing game

Butler quarterback Mac Schnur tosses the ball downfield against Harbor Creek last season, during which he threw for 1,574 yards. Eagle File Photo
Flinging it and bringing it

BUTLER TWP — Breaking the school’s single-season passing yardage record isn’t enough for Mac Schnur.

Butler’s senior quarterback wants to obliterate it.

And why not?

Justin Papania’s record of approximately 1,700 yards passing has stood for nearly 20 years. Schnur threw for 1,574 yards and 12 touchdowns last season while sharing part of the time behind center with the now-graduated Cooper Baxter.

“I see no reason why we can’t throw for 3,000 yards this year,” Schnur said. “I guess our general goal is 2,000. I want to hit 3,000.”

He will have to do so without two of his top receivers from a year ago. Ethan Trettel (25 catches-512 yards) is now at Slippery Rock University and Lance Slater (25-507) is out for the season after undergoing ankle surgery.

Schnur’s other big target, Braylon Littlejohn (28-369) missed most of preseason camp with an injury and may or may not be ready for the season opener against Shaler.

None of that bothers Schnur.

“We have other guys who can step up,” he said. “I also love our line and we’ve got a good running game. I don’t see our offense slowing down.

“I know I have to be more of a leader this year. I have to make plays and that includes in the running game.”

While Baxter ran for 678 yards and nine touchdowns a year ago — often times from the quarterback position — Schnur was credited with 29 carries for a net 17 yards. He admitted last season to not wanting to run with the football.

But that feeling has changed.

“Mac is definitely looking to throw first,” Butler coach Eric Christy said. “He’s a solid pocket passer, but we can roll him out, too. He’ll run some waggle for us and we’ll have an RPO package in there for him.

“He has worked hard on expanding his skill-set as a quarterback.”

Schnur described himself as “a skinny kid back there” last season.

“No. I didn’t want to get hit,” he said. “But I’ve spent the past few months hitting the weight room harder and putting on about 18 pounds of muscle mass. I’m stronger physically this year and my goal is to get that to 25 pounds.”

During 7-on-7 drills this off-season, Christy noticed Schnur doing a better job of looking off safeties and using his eyes to help receivers get open.

“That’s probably the part of his game that’s improved the most,” the coach said. “Mac has the physical tools. They’ve always been there. Your mental skills as a quarterback come through experience. He gained a lot from last year.

“He’s surpassed my passing numbers (1998 season). Now he’s going after Justin’s. He’s a very motivated player.”

He’s also a grounded one.

The 6-foot-0, 168-pound Schnur has already received college looks from Edinboro, Fairmont State and Notre Dame (Ohio), among others. Also a baseball player, he plans to play college ball in one of those sports.

His focus right now is on Butler football and continuing to build the program.

“I want the 3,000 yards, but I plan on running the ball, too,” he said. “Our offense needs to be versatile. If I’m out of the pocket and see an easy 10 yards of green in front of me, I need to take that.

“It’s all about moving the football and putting up points. That starts with me.”

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