Quinn Priester’s profile on the National Collegiate Scouting Association website reveals much about his character.
Priester credits his teammates and coaches at Cary-Grove for helping him succeed, while mentioning that he embraces the challenge of advanced placement classes at the school.
He wrote about learning from failure and how “the real gains are made if you learn, or better yourself from those mistakes.”
Priester also showed his competitiveness and confidence when stating his goal was to be the Trojans’ starting quarterback this fall as a sophomore.
Those qualities, along with Priester’s 6-foot-3, 175-pound frame, and a mid-80 mph fastball, already landed him an NCAA Division I offer as a baseball pitcher from Northwestern, before he has pitched an inning at the varsity level.
Undoubtedly, more offers will come for Priester, whom C-G football coach Brad Seaburg is thrilled to have in the mix for the quarterback job.
“He has all the traits you’re looking for in a varsity athlete,” said Seaburg, whose past two teams made it to the Class 7A state championship game and to the 7A semifinals. “He’s a varsity athlete right now. His approach to training, he has that maturity level, the body and he really likes to compete.”
Priester pitched for the Crystal Lake Cardinals at a tournament at Northwestern in June. Wildcats coach Spencer Allen, with whom C-G baseball coach Don Sutherland is acquainted, saw Priester pitch a bullpen session later. On June 15, Allen offered Priester a scholarship.
“It came so quickly. Everything happened in a two-week period,” Priester said. “It was so fast, it was spectacular. I never thought specifically, ‘I want to go (to this school).’ It’s always been a dream of mine to play college sports. I/m really grateful for it, it was really kind of surreal.”
Priester threw between 84 mph and 86 mph for Northwestern, similar to what Sutherland and his coaches have seen. Sutherland had right-hander Matt McCumber (committed to Northern Illinois) and left-hander Danny Schmidt topping the varsity rotation this season, so Priester pitched and played outfield for the sophomore team, which won the Fox Valley Conference Valley Division.
Priester also started most of the season at quarterback on the sophomore football team, which also won the FVC Valley.
“We wanted him to pitch,” Sutherland said. “With Danny and Matt being our best pitchers, we let [Priester] pitch on the sophomores. He wouldn’t have got as many innings with us. We’re patient with our pitchers and colleges are not patient with their recruits.”
Sutherland was not surprised Priester already snagged an offer and expects more in the future.
“I was able to give [Priester] some pretty good recommendations based on him being a two-sport athlete and competitive in the weightroom and competitive in football,” Sutherland said. “That’s what it led to.”
Priester thanked his Cardinals coaches Mike Keegan, Tim Young, Giacomo Listi and pitching coach Mike Lussnig, who Priester said is his first pitching coach.
Priester will juggle time between playing with the Cardinals, along with C-G’s baseball team and Trojans’ football workouts and camps this summer. Seaburg said Priester will compete somewhere as a varsity football player if he does not win the starting job.
Senior-to-be Bobby Collins started some games late in the season when starter J.P. Sullivan contracted mononucleosis. Priester spent the four weeks of the playoff run with the varsity as the third quarterback.
“They’re both real athletic,” Seaburg said. “So they’re both going to play somewhere. Quinn’s a very confident player, he has a lot of poise and he wants to be the starting quarterback. You really kind of look for that kind of confidence in all the players. Wanting to do that is kind of how he is.”