Tight End a Late Bloomer

Senior-to-be Alec Bloom has yet to receive his first verbal scholarship offer. The Ligonier Valley (Pa.) tight end is looking to prove himself on the summer camp circuit.

It's difficult to choose just one reason why Alec Bloom stood out on a humid afternoon Saturday at University Park.

Sure, the prospect from Ligonier Valley (Pa.) stood out, literally, sporting a 6-foot-7, 230-pound frame that towered above the skills players during Penn State's Advanced Skill Camp. But he also caught many an eye due to his play, which often resulted in a catch down field or, at the very least, a chunk of green turf around him after beating a defender.

The senior-to-be did not land an offer from State Saturday, nor did he expect to. It's not likely he does, either, with the Lions unlikely to take a tight end in the Class of 2014 unless it's offered Southern Regional (Manahawkin, N.J.) FOX Sports NEXT three-star prospect Mike Gesicki.

But who knows what will present itself for the small-town product who helped block Ligonier Valley to its first playoff victory in nearly 20 years during the 2013 season. Especially with a pass-heavy offense expected to unveil itself in Rams' camp this fall.

Maybe he'll end up walking-on somewhere, or maybe he'll land a scholarship by the time February rolls around. Either way, Bloom says he will enjoy his final high school summer and the camp season that comes with it. State was the first stop, with a trip to Lafayette coming a day later, and trips to Lehigh and Pittsburgh planned for later in the summer.

"It was really good," Bloom said of his Penn State camp experience. "I met a lot of nice guys, and a lot of good coaches. I'll definitely take away a lot of stuff from this."

"They have really nice facility, and the weight room is really nice here, too."

Part of it, of course, is how to play in a pass-oriented offense. Bloom made clear that his high school program, just two hours to the west of State College, is transitioning to an offense that will feature more route running than blocking, noting that his quarterback is "definitely on board and itching from it."

Similar to Nittany Lion Class of 2014 verbal commit Troy Apke, though, it will undoubtedly be an adjustment from the days of plowing defensive linemen and linebackers backward. And he hopes that the tips he picked up while working with a variety of coaches Saturday will help to ease the difference.

"They told me to work on my footwork, and changing speed," Bloom explained. "They said not to go full-speed every time, but to make moves and stuff like that, too.

"They said I was doing good, and gave me positive encouragement, which is good."

Mostly Patriot League interest thus far would seem to beckon a strong academic pedigree, and when asked, the tight end noted that he intends to attend a school with strong academic reputation.

And that's why Penn State is of such interest to him.

"I want to go to a good school, obviously, and to be in good form after college," Bloom explained. "That stuff [academics] is high on my list, and they [Penn State] are good academically.

"I live right down the road, and would always come up to Penn State for football games. It's kind of a dream."

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