Top Prospect To Commit Early

This talented prospect was one of the first players of this entire year to receive a scholarship offer from the University of Miami. He talks about how he'll make a summer commitment and particularly about his two favorites - Miami and Penn State.

Back in April, I first reported about the University of Miami offering a scholarship very early to Linwood (NJ) Mainland two-way lineman John Rochford. In that article, I talked about how the talented lineman planned on taking an unofficial visit to UM this summer. That visit took place last week.

"I took an unofficial visit to Miami last week," Rochford told me. "I went to see the campus and meet with the coaches. I loved it. It was beautiful. I liked the coaches a lot and was very impressed. They have me very interested in Miami."

Rochford, one of the nation's premier offensive/defensive line prospects, started football at a very early age.

"I started playing when I was seven," he said. "I've always been a lineman and I've always played both ways ever since I started."

At 6-foot-2 and 295 pounds, Rochford also competes in basketball (center) and track (shot put-44 feet). Inside the classroom, he's fully qualified with a 3.3 GPA and a 950 SAT score.

"I got calls last month from Wisconsin, Purdue, Penn State, Miami, Georgia Tech, Maryland, Indiana, and Boston College," he said. "Miami, Iowa, Wisconsin, and Penn State have sent scholarship offers in the mail."

Rochford talked about his early list of favorites.

"I'd probably say Miami is pretty high and then Penn State. Everyone else is pretty much equal, but I'd say I'm leaning to Miami and Penn State or one of them at this point."

Rochford is being recruited by Penn State as a nose guard, while Miami likes him for either side of the football.

"Miami said I'm one of the top linemen they're recruiting," he said. "I really don't have a preference on which side of the ball I play on. I just want to play and help my team win. I'll play wherever my team needs me."

The talented lineman said he'd like to have a decision out of the way before his season starts.

"I'd like to have a decision made before the season," he said. "I want to go out and play hard to help my team win a state championship."

Rochford, who made an unofficial visit to Penn State for their junior day earlier this spring, said he's considering camping at Miami, Penn State, and Boston College but there's a chance he won't attend any.

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