West Scranton junior Eric Shrive, the 6-foot-7, 285-pound tackle, one of the most sought after high school linemen in the country, verbally committed to head coach Joe Paterno early Thursday.
Shrive received more than 30 scholarship offers from major college football programs across the country during a busy offseason.
“I’m really excited,” Shrive said. “I really feel that Penn State is the place for me.”
A Times-Tribune All-Region lineman, Shrive is the third Invader to accept a football scholarship from a Division I-A program. Hubie Graham will be playing at Big Ten rival Illinois, while fellow junior Shawn Bodtmann committed to Nebraska in April. Matt McGloin, West Scranton’s quarterback last fall, is also going to Penn State as a preferred walk-on.
“I’m certainly very proud of the way our program has developed over the last four and five years,” West Scranton coach Michael DeAntona said. “It’s been a big commitment from the players and the coaching staff and administration, who work hard in developing the kids into solid football players and good students, who the colleges are interested in recruiting.”
During West Scranton’s march to the District 2 Class AAA championship in the fall, Shrive began receiving offers. Twice he visited Penn State, once last summer for its camp and during the Nittany Lions win over Notre Dame. A four-star recruit, according to rivals.com, Shrive is the fifth underclassman to commit to Penn State.
“It is a school with a great winning tradition,” the 17-year-old Shrive said. “They also have a great offensive line tradition. “It’s a great opportunity for me.”
In his sophomore season at West Scranton, Shrive, who is also a defensive lineman and kickoff specialist, contributed to the team’s first District 2 Class AAA title. After a year in the weight room, he became a dominant force on both sides of the ball during a 12-2 campaign. His height and weight, combined with good speed, timing at 5.1 seconds in the 40-yard dash, made him one of the top recruits at any position in the country.
Wanting to end the intense process, which included visits to Florida schools this spring, Shrive couldn’t shake his impressions of Happy Valley.
“It’s the loudest crowd anywhere,” Shrive said. “I mean, 110,000 strong. It’s amazing support.”
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