The Sporting Goods | Bears quarterback Matt Blanchard fights to make the roster

There is a buzz emanating from Bourbonnais as fans gather at Chicago Bears Training Camp to catch a glimpse of one of the most-anticipated teams the franchise has fielded in years. But while Cutler-to-Marshall passes elicit oohs and ahhs, the coaching staff is a bit more engrossed in Josh McCown to Dane Sanzenbacher and Matt Blanchard to Brittan Golden.

Guys like former Illinois Class 7A state champion quarterback Blanchard are grinding it out in hopes of keeping the door open to the world of professional football. Blanchard didn’t start playing football until his freshman year at Lake Zurich High School. Despite leading those Bears to a title in 2007, he wasn’t a highly coveted prospect by colleges. He ended up accepting a partial scholarship to Northern Michigan University, before transferring to Division-III Wisconsin-Whitewater, where he learned how to win. As a senior at UW-Whitewater, Blanchard led the Warhawks to a national championship over rival Mount Union College. “I had a lot of success in college, and we, as a team, had a lot of success at Wisconsin-Whitewater. Being part of a winning program, you pick up a lot of stuff on how to carry yourself,” Blanchard says.

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Laura Baginski, Editor (@TimeOutChicago)