(CBS) — Starting the season 0-2, a bye week couldn’t have come at a better time for Northwestern. One Wildcat reserve pulled double-duty this past summer.
CBS 2’s Megan Mawicke explains about his special mission.
Mark Szott’s job on the field: Superback and special teams. But what he hopes to be doing after his football career is over maybe a secret — as in the United States Secret Service.
“I would love to go stand behind the President and make sure he gets around and is safe,” Szott said.
The Naperville native scored an internship with the Secret Service this summer, after an extensive application process including a lengthy background check.
“They went to, talked to a few of my middle school teachers, went to my high school. They actually came to may apartment and interviews two of my roommates,” he said.
Szott is tight lipped about most things he worked on, but did say the highlight was: “I was on a Hilary Clinton visit and when the first lady and her two daughters came in, Sasha and Malia came into town, (I was) able to tag along on that.”
After his internship, Mark realized the same qualities that made him a Division One football player at Northwestern are similar to what is required to have a career in the Secret Service.
“When president or anybody comes to town, there’s so much planning that goes into it; motorcade route, security measures at the hotel and the podium or stadium, whereever they are speaking,” he said. “We spend a whole week on just three-four hour (trip) for a Saturday afternoon preparing for the team. That’s where it stood out for me. In that line of work, if you screw it could be very bad.”
Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald said, “I really felt Mark would be a great fit for it, and his passion for it, he really had to seek out. It wasn’t like it was handed to him. He had to do a lot of background work and prep for it.”
It’s no secret that Szott’s not ready to turn in his number 85 to be a double-0 agent just yet.
“I want the team to win, get back to bowl game this year. I think we are focused and we have one common goal,” he said.
Szott has two more years of academic eligibility, but has already applied for job at the Secret Service, because it takes that long to be accepted. He hopes to start working on his master’s degree at Northwestern next year and then be accepted to the Secret Service.