ECU Commit Garnering Outside Interest

A Florida quarterback committed to the Pirates picked up his 13th offer this week. What does he think about the new interest from Penn State?

John Wolford isn't quite sure what kept major FBS programs from offering him. It certainly wasn't his stats.

After all, the Bishop Kenny (Jacksonville, Fla.) Class of 2014 quarterback threw for 3,299 yards in his senior year for the Crusaders. That included 38 touchdowns, which set the Florida career touchdown passes mark while also toppling the northeast Florida record previously held by Tim Tebow.

Perhaps it was his size. He checks in at 6-foot-1, 208 pounds. Whatever it was, it's behind him now, as schools are starting to notice the signal caller coming down the stretch of another recruiting cycle.

He is committed to Eastern Carolina. But as his season unfolded, he caught Wake Forrest's eye, and an offer from the Demon Deacons followed. Now he's in Penn State's crosshairs. The Lions became 13th program to offer Wolford Wednesday, as head coach Bill O'Brien extended it via a phone call two weeks after Wolford first made contact with the school through safeties coach Anthony Midget.

At this time, Wolford is not commenting on the status of his commitment to ECU, opting instead to soak in the moment before deciding what happens next.

"It came fast," Wolford said of the Penn State offer. "Within the last two weeks or so. Coach O'Brien saw my film, and I talked to him tonight, and Coach Midget has been by my school.

"I know their tradition, the 108,000 fans, and what they've done there and the history there. I know all about what Coach O'Brien did with Tom Brady and what he's done with Matt McGloin, who's now in Oakland. I understand their tradition."

The need to offer another quarterback arose from the departure of former Penn State quarterback Tyler Ferguson. Currently, the Lions expect to have just two scholarship signal callers on their 2014 roster, Hackenberg and Class of 2014 commit and intended early enrollee Michael O'Connor. There is also a trio of walk-ons in Austin Whipple, D.J. Crook, and Jack Seymour.

So what does Wolford bring to the table?

"It starts mentally, with understanding the defense, and my accuracy is good, which is so important," Wolford said. "I think I have one of the most accurate arms, and I don't want to say I don't have any weaknesses, but I have good arm strength and can create with my legs, too.

"I can still improve," he added. "I haven't hit a ceiling. I don't think I've made it, by any means. But I do feel I have good accuracy and arm strength."

The quarterback said he's just beginning to establish a relationship with Midget.

"He's the guy that recruits my area, and it's been great talking to him," Wolford said. "It just all came so fast. It wasn't like I was talking to Penn State in June, so our relationship is still being built."

Wolford does not have a timetable for deciding whether he will stick with the Pirates or look elsewhere.


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