Maryland DB standout Michael Westray learned to value hard work when he was young.
"I started playing football when I was 6 years old," Westray said. "Growing up I was scared to play football, I was scared to play and get hurt."
On the gridiron things changed quickly for Westray. Once he realized he the ability to play the game, the worries about injuries evaporated.
"The first year I was good," Westray said reminiscing. "I played both ways. I never knew I was athletic before that."
He hasn't looked back since.
"I work hard, you have too," Westray said. "I think being a hard worker separates me from the rest. I do as much as I can to stand out."
His work ethic has only improved as his recruiting process has begun to heat up.
"I work out with the track coach almost every day," Westray said of his training routine. "I work out with a technique trainer, and in the weight room. I train around five to six hours a day."
He added, "But that's the life of a Division 1 athlete, hard work."
His impressive work ethic does set him apart, and is getting the attention of top colleges like Duke, Maryland, Pittsburgh and Temple. He even received a visit to his school — Westlake High — by Penn State assistant Larry Johnson.
But work ethic is not all these coaches like about him.
"I am versatile, very versatile," Westray said. "Even this (past) year my primary position was corner but they had me at safety, kick returner and linebacker. I like being a jack of all trades."
Westray has another quality that sets him apart from the rest: he's fast — as in 4.5-second 40 fast.
And if the speedy corner could have his pick of schools?
"If it could be any school, I really like Penn State," Westray said. "I grew up liking Penn State and my father is from Pennsylvania."
He added, "If Penn State offered me than I would think about committing on the spot."
But that's not all he likes about the Nittany Lions.
"I have heard a lot of good things about Penn State from Devon Smith," Westray said. "Not only does Devon really like it, but my coach is really cool with Coach Johnson."
He continued, "It's a connection thing. Actually visiting there I got a vibe like no other college I've been too. I feel like I fit in, I like it."
Westray has only visited State College once, for the PSU Nike Football Training camp -- and he is already planning another.
"I am definitely going to Penn State this summer," Westray said, "Along with Duke, Maryland, Pittsburgh and Temple, this coming weekend."
As for his recruiting overall?
"Everything is going pretty well," Westray said. "There are a lot of colleges coming to my high school. And I just went to the DMV showcase and I did really well."
He continued, "I am getting a lot of attention and phone calls from colleges. And building relationships."
Westray will return to Happy Valley for the Penn State Rising Senior camp on June 24-25. He hopes to take advantage of his PSU connections and come away with an offer.