Michael Schofield never had a problem finding a source for motivation. His brother, Andrew, was 18 months younger, so everything between them was a competition. But as the Michigan offensive tackle prepared for the NFL draft this year, some unfortunate news became his driving force. Shortly before the Senior Bowl in January, his aunt, Jane Caliendo, was diagnosed with colon cancer. The news was devastating, but as a potential mid-round draft pick, Schofield had to remain focused for his opportunity in front of scouts from all 32 teams. “I couldn’t let that bring me down because it was such an important week for me, but I also used it as motivation,” he said. “Whenever I was struggling, I’d just think of my aunt and what she’s going through. “I also realized (football) was like an escape for her. She was just doing chemo all that time. And she was able to watch the Senior Bowl and watch all the practices, and she would text me after practice and tell me how I did.” Schofield impressed at the Senior Bowl, playing primarily guard to showcase his versatility. When it rains, however, it pours. Following his aunt’s diagnosis, all his father’s siblings (three more sisters and a brother) went in for testing, and another aunt, Mary Berardelli, also was diagnosed with colon cancer. At the NFL Combine in February, Schofield wore a bracelet that said “Together we will conquer” as a sign of support for his aunts, who have had chemotherapy and are doing well.
Former Michigan offensive tackle Michael Schofield hopes to stay close to home
Detroit News | May 3