Catching up with Joe Kedra

Joe Kedra spends his Friday nights rushing past opposing linemen to sack quarterbacks. But he is in no rush to choose where he'll play college football.

"I would like to make a decision soon," Kedra told IC during a telephone interview Thursday night. "But, there is no deadline for me."

However, three schools -- UNC, Penn State and Notre Dame -- have emerged to the forefront in the race to land the New Jersey all-state linebacker from Cherry Hill (N.J.) Camden Catholic.

"Notre Dame is going to offer as soon as they get my transcripts, but they (UNC and PSU) are at the top right now," Kedra said.

Kedra's teammate, quarterback Nick Cangelosi has already given his verbal commitment to UNC, but that won't be a deciding factor for the 6-4, 225-pound star.

"It's definitely a strongpoint to the school because I would know someone there, but it's about me going to the school where I fit in best," Kedra said.

He said that the biggest difference in UNC and Penn State is obvious.

"It's a different feeling down there (UNC) because up there (Penn State), it is all football," he said. "Coach Bunting is more personal and when he is allowed to call, he calls.

"Others just send letters and let the recruiters call me."

Kedra had an outstanding junior year for Camden Catholic at both linebacker and offensive tackle, but is being recruited to play linebacker in college.

Gladys Kedra, Joe's mother, said other than the football mentality and location of Penn State, UNC and Penn State are similar.

"Both are top notch schools and the coaching staffs have been wonderful," she said. "Both campuses are beautiful."

Kedra hasn't set up an official to UNC, but said he is looking to come down with Cangelosi for the Texas game on Sept. 14, depending on his parents' schedule. His mother said when he does make an official visit, both Joe's dad and her will attend.

"I really like coach Bunting a lot," she said. "He seems to be more family oriented and he reminds me of (Joe) Paterno.

"It seems that Bunting is more about education than athletics, that is what is going to carry Joe the rest of his life."

Kedra said that Catholic coach Dennis Scuderi has helped in the recruiting process offering what he knows about the schools recruiting him.

"He gives me his opinion and he answers any questions I have," Kedra said.

As with most high school recruits, Kedra's family is a big part of his decision.

"It's my son's future and I just want him to be happy," Gladys Kedra said. "All the schools call, but I won't allow people to put pressure on him.

"I think it's kind of neat, seeing all the hard work over the years paying off."

Kedra knows a career in the NFL is not likely for most and that is why he is after a school that has a strong academic reputation.

"Everyone has to stop eventually and most stop after college," Kedra said. "I would like to be able to have something to fall back on after school."

Kedra's Stats: 3.3 GPA; 4.67 40-yd dash; 300 bench; Camden Catholic does not max out on squat and power clean lifts. Junior stats: 189 total tackles; 5 ints; 4 def. td's; 3 sacks; 2 forced fumbles; 1st team all-state (AP).
Planed Official Visits: UNC and Penn State; possibly Notre Dame.

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