Growing up in Hamburg, Germany, Joshka Gustav and his older brother, Niklas, dreamed of one day playing in the National Football League.
“We thought if want to make it to the NFL, then we have to go to high school somewhere in America,” Gustav said.
The two brothers moved to San Bernardino, Calif., and have kept their football dreams alive. Niklas, 20, is a linebacker at Morningside College in Iowa, while Joshka recently gave his verbal commitment to play at Colorado.
A junior defensive end/outside linebacker at Aquinas High School, Joshka, who has a 3-star rating from both Scout.com and Rivals.com, committed to CU on March 23.
“It’s a huge deal for me because that’s where I’m going to spend my four years and get my degree and just grow up there,” he said. “It was a big deal for me and my family.
“To commit this early, I went up there on my unofficial visit (in March) and I thought it was the perfect fit for me with coach D.J. Eliot as the defensive coordinator and my position coach. When I talked to (head coach Mike) MacIntyre, it was a great talk, too, and I thought it was just a perfect fit for me.”
Gustav was impressed with how CU’s coaches were as interested in him as a person as they were as a player.
As a player, the 6-foot-3, 225-pound Gustav excels on both sides of the ball at Aquinas, which went 11-3 last year. At tight end, he caught 50 passes for 978 yards and 15 touchdowns, while on defense he had 78 tackles, four sacks and an interception.
CU and other schools seem to like Gustav more as a linebacker, which suits him just fine. He plays in a 3-4 defense scheme, as he would at CU.
“I’ll play wherever the coach puts me, but I personally like outside linebacker better just to rush the quarterback and drop in zone coverage,” he said. “I really like that.”
In addition to CU, Gustav has offers from Oregon State and UNLV and he said he’s recently visited San Diego State, Arizona State and UNLV.
Gustav also participates in track and field, throwing the shot put and discus.
Contact staff writer Brian Howell at firstname.lastname@example.org or twitter.com/BrianHowell33.