Cheshire Trio Take PSU Trip

Three players made the trip from Connecticut to catch PSU for the season opener. Find out what Cheshire Academy coach Daniel O'Dea says about their trip.

Earlier this month, Penn State received unofficial visits from three athletes out of Cheshire Academy in Connecticut. The talented trio went to the Nittany Lions' opening game against Youngstown State with their head coach, Daniel O'Dea.

The three players that made the visit were Paul-Michael Barrows, Nick Cefalo and Graham Kelley. O'Dea calls the day an undoubted success.

"They all enjoyed the visit very much. Penn State really likes the look of Paul-Michael Barrows as he can develop into a tight end or a halfback or a defensive end," O'Dea told FightOnState.com. "They all enjoyed the emphasis Penn State puts on the academic side of school and the support that is offered."

The Cheshire program boasts players in the 9th through 12th grades and is allowed five post-graduate players. Four years ago, O'Dea made the trip up I-95 to Cheshire after having coached The Hun School in South Jersey. At Hun, he oversaw the development of such players as current Tennessee Titan Myron Rolle, former Michigan and current Rutgers defensive lineman Anthony LaLota, and Notre Dame's Tyler Stockton. He sees this current trio as a continuation of the success that, over the past decade plus of coaching, has sent over 90 players into college football programs across the country.

The ceiling is high for the 6-foot-3, 240-pound Barrows, according to his coach.

"[He's a] big, strong, fast, tight end that can catch the ball in space and run over defenders. He has great hands and blocks very well," O'Dea said. "In our first scrimmage [where he] only played a half, he caught six balls for 136 yards and two touchdowns. He has a 3.0 GPA. with a 1050 SAT – he is smart and coachable. He is a big time player."

Cefalo is a player with a high football IQ who O'Dea obviously enjoys coaching. At 6-2 and 180 pounds, he has good size to play both wide receiver and defensive back.

"One of the most technically sound football players that I've coached – he does everything right. He caught seven passes in our scrimmage [in] only two quarters for 111 yards," O'Dea said of Cefalo, who has a 3.8 GPA and a score of 1,000 on the SAT. "He also had an interception."

A player with plenty of upside is Kelley. The lineman has a great frame at 6-4 and 270 pounds and what's especially exciting for O'Dea is how raw this physically powerful athlete is. Like the rest of the group, he's a great student who holds a 3.4 GPA and has scored an 1,140 on the SAT.

"Graham is a late bloomer and has only played football for the last year and a half. He played basketball before that," O'Dea said. "He is aggressive on the defensive line and he has the ability to short and long snap. He projects as a college center or guard, he has great feet and work ethic."

FightOnState.com will continue to follow these three athletes throughout the fall.


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