After a month or so of pining for a Maryland offer, Central Catholic (Pittsburgh, Pa.) safety Johnny Petrishen finally pulled a Terps scholarship Dec. 6. The 6-foot-2, 195-pounder had been intrigued by UMD ever since inside linebacker pledge and fellow Pennsylvanian Brett Zanotto (Franklin Regional/Murrysville, Pa.) committed to the College Park, Md., school. And when area recruiter Greg Studrawa began expressing more interest in early November, Petrishen began to get excited.
“I was really excited when I talked to Coach Stud [Dec. 6] and he told me the offer was there for me,” said Petrishen, who also holds scholarships from Penn State, Pittsburgh, Virginia, Northwestern and a host of others. “It’s definitely an offer I was looking for. Maryland is definitely a school that has a connection to my high school. There are two Central Catholic players on Maryland’s roster now [Perry Hills and Anthony Nixon], and after I got the offer I immediately texted Anthony. He was telling me some really things about the school, and said he’s glad he chose Maryland.
“Then we talked about the depth chart and stuff like that. It looks like they have a need at safety and I’d have a chance to play there.”
Although Studrawa recruits Petrishen, the Pittsburgh safety said Zanotto has done his share of Maryland hyping as well. Petrishen said he’s exchanged plenty of Twitter messages with the inside backer, and on Dec. 6 Zanotto apparently sent him a message that said, “Did you talk to Coach [Randy] Edsall yet?”
“Brett was on his official visit, so I knew he was down there, and when he messaged me, I kind of knew something was up,” Petrishen said. “Then a few minutes later I talked to Coach Stud, and I kind of had an idea what he was going to say, but I was still really excited to get the offer. From what Brett has been telling me, from what Anthony told me, and from what the coaches have said, Maryland looks like it could be a really good opportunity for me.
“Coach Stud, he’s been great with me. He came up to my school, and I really liked him and what he was telling me about Maryland. I think he’s actually coming back with Coach Edsall to visit my house too.”
Petrishen said UMD’s main appeal lies with its business program and conference affiliation. He wants to major in business, and would ideally like to play in a league like the Big Ten.
“It sounds like there’s a lot of great business opportunities at Maryland with the Under Armour connection and being so close to D.C. and Baltimore. There’s a lot of internship opportunities in the business world around there,” Petrishen said. “Also, they play in the Big Ten, which is a great conference know for defense.”
Next up for Petrishen is to potentially set up an official visit to College Park. The issue here is he isn’t planning to travel Dec. 11-13, and the Christmas and New Year’s holidays are recruiting dead periods. Following said closed period, Petrishen already has officials scheduled for Pittsburgh Jan. 16, Penn State Jan. 23 and Virginia Jan. 30. And considering Signing Day is Feb. 5, there are no more open weekends after Jan. 30.
“I think I may take an official to Maryland mid-week, like in-between the ones I have scheduled,” Petrishen said. “I’m not 100 percent sure I’ll be taking it yet, though. I’m going to wait a few weeks and see how everything shakes out. I might take one to Northwestern; I’m not sure yet.”
The Central Catholic product went on to say that he likes all of his main suitors “a lot.” He said each program – Pitt, UVA, PSU, UMD and Northwestern – has something specific that appeals and it will be difficult to separate them.
That said, the feeling has been that hometown Pittsburgh and longtime pursuer UVA led for his services, with recent offeree Penn State making a strong run as well. That may still be the case, but Petrishen doesn’t want to let on just yet.
“I’m not really ranking anybody right now,” he said. “I think my official visits will tell me a lot more about the schools and where they stand. I’ll know more after that.”
Petrishen plans to announce his decision right around Signing Day.
“I don’t think I’ll decide before I take my officials and sit down and talk it over with my parents,” Petrishen said. “[I’ll announce] in February more than likely.”
Petrishen Considering UMD OV Following Offer
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