Billy Schrauth committed a Wisconsin football sin, now he's embracing Notre Dame's culture

Justin Frommer
ND Insider
St. Mary's Springs Academy's Billy Schrauth (72) tackles Winnebago Lutheran Academy's Jack Karst (20) for a loss of yards during their football game at Ingalls Field Wednesday, March 31, 2021, in Ripon, Wis. St. Mary's Springs Academy won 42-0.Dan Powers/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin

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SOUTH BEND — The expectation in the state of Wisconsin is that its biggest, strongest and best high school offensive linemen stay home to play for the Badgers. 

Many of those prospects  become bullies in the Big Ten trenches before moving to pro careers. 

Billy Schrauth, from Fond Du Lac, Wis., may very well end up in NFL, but his route won't go through Madison. This past December the talented lineman from Fond Du Lac, Wis. committed a "cheesehead" sin by spurning the Badgers for Notre Dame. 

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"To me it was that pursuit of excellence every day," Schrauth said last week of his college decision. "That is something that they strive after everywhere (at Notre Dame), not only on the football field but in the classroom. That type of culture is something I want to be a part of." 

Since arriving in South Bend a month ago — along with 11 other early enrollee freshman — that culture has become a way of Schrauth's life, even as he recuperates from recent foot surgery.

Billy Schrauth

Schrauth had the space between two bones in his left foot tightened and is expected to be out four months. He participates as much as he can, but in limited capacity.

During Friday's lift session, Scharuth said he did single leg squats  to get some work in. 

"I come in and do the same exact stuff everybody else is doing," Schrauth said. "I don’t need an excuse for anything, so I come in, I work."

That work ethic comes from his Wisconsin roots. A 6-foot-5, 300-pound four-star recruit, Schrauth worked on a family farm, which he estimated was 500 acres. Before school each morning he helped milk 150 cows. After school, he competed in sports with his four older siblings and three older step-siblings. 

"I always wanted to be better than them," Schrauth said. "That pushed me mentally to places. Its been a lot of good for me having siblings like that who pushed me." 

At Notre Dame, it isn't older siblings Schrauth will be competing with, but rather experienced offensive lineman. 

The Irish are returning four of its starting offensive lineman from last season in Jarrett Patterson, Andrew Kristofic, Joe Alt and Blake Fisher. Josh Lugg, who started all 12 regular season games before missing the Fiesta Bowl with an injury is back for a sixth year, as well as Tosh Baker and Michael Carmody, who both got starts at left tackle.

One thing that Schrauth has to his advantage is versatility.

Despite preferring to play on the interior at guard, Schrauth said Notre Dame offensive line coach Harry Hiestand plans to work him at tackle, guard and center. 

Schrauth said he and Hiestand clicked right off the bat with the mindset of embracing Notre Dame culture. A month into his Irish career, Schrauth is immersed in it, with Wisconsin behind him, but his hometown work ethic propelling him forward. 

"I want to be pushed to limits that I don’t know I am capable of," Schrauth said. "I think (Hiestand) is going to be a guy that is going to get me and the group to where we got to be."