Thorpe Draws Comparisons to Michael Robinson

Justin Thorpe reminds Varina High (Richmond, Va.) assistant coach Blanda Wolfe of former player Michael Robinson, whom everyone knows went on to lead Penn State back to national prominence. With that type of athleticism Thorpe possesses, colleges have fallen in love with him across the country.

Notre Dame is one of the many schools sending the 6-foot-1, 180-pound Thorpe a lot of letters.

"We've had some people come by here like Virginia Tech and Virginia," Wolfe said. "Florida State and Clemson have been able to eye ball him. Syracuse, a lot of the local schools have come through.

"He is getting letters from everybody in the country."

Varina head coach Gary Chilcoat does not do interviews.

Thorpe was all set to play receiver this past season, after catching 11 passes for 180 yards and a three touchdowns as a sophomore. Then starting quarterback and Virginia Tech commit Davon Morgan went down with an injury that pretty much sidelined him for the season. Thorpe was also the team's backup quarterback, so it was up to him to lead Varina.

"We try to get our best athlete and put him at quarterback," Wolfe stated of their multiple spread offense. He reported that Thorpe ran a 4.57 40-yard dash at the Penn State combine last spring. Notre Dame got a look at Thorpe in South Bend last summer at one of its day camps.

Thorpe came in and completed 74-of-130 passes for 1,271 yards, with 10 touchdowns and nine interceptions. He also rushed for 219 yards on 98 carries with 11 more scores, leading Varina to an 11-2 record.

"He is special with the ball in his hands, Wolfe said. But he has a long ways to go. Once he figures out what his potential is, he can be very special."

Thorpe didn't get the chance this past season to find out if he is special on defense.

We have seven kids off the defense that are going to Division I or Division I-AA schools," Wolfe said. "He'll probably play somewhere for us this coming year, maybe at cornerback. He always worked out with the defense, but after Davon went down, we couldn't afford to give up another quarterback."

Thorpe doesn't have any scholarship offers on the table yet, and Wolfe said he is wide open on where he wants to go to school. No GPA was available for Thorpe.

What position Thorpe plays on the next level is also a question. At the U.S. Army National Combine in San Antonio, Thorpe worked out as a receiver. With his size and speed, he could certainly play in the secondary somewhere. Then there is always quarterback. A lot of people didn't think Robinson could do it.

"I think (receiver) is what he wants to do at the next level, but he'll do whatever the system dictates," Wolfe said. "He is a lot like Mike Robinson who played for us. He's not as good yet, but he can do a lot of different things. They have a lot of similarities."


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