Learning That Patience is a Virtue

Pennsylvania quarterback <b>Nick Skeparnias</b> of York Suburban SHS is patiently awaiting his first Division I-A scholarship offer. Which teams are expressing interest? Is Penn State more interested now that Chad Henne seems to be out of the picture?

Name: Nick Skeparnias
Position: QB
Height: 6'1"
Weight: 195 pounds
40-yard dash: 4.7
School: York Suburban SHS, York, PA

Since Chad Henne publicly announced his allegiance to Michigan on August 7, many Penn State fans have been wondering out loud as to what the Nittany Lion coaching staff's backup plan is.

"We're kind of curious," Lou Skeparnias, the father of York Suburban quarterback Nick Skeparnias said earlier this week. "I know a lot of people are throwing Nick's name around and [wondering] whether Penn State's been keeping in touch with him. We're staying in touch. Larry Johnson obviously came down to see him and told him at that time that they're banking everything on Henne, but if it doesn't happen, Nick was one of the top 3 they're looking at.

"Then, we had gone up to the camp, just kind of stopped in, spent a few hours over there and threw a little bit. Jay [Paterno] basically said that they're banking very heavily on Henne and hopefully they didn't have to play against Nick. I'm kind of reading through some of it, but the bottom line is that he said once that decision's made or not made, at some point they'll reevaluate and get back."

Unfortunately, while Penn State had been seemingly focusing all of their efforts on Henne, other quarterback prospects have established relationships with other schools.

"I know Nick has a great relationship with Maryland and some of the other schools, even Temple where they pretty much told me he could jump in there fairly easily.

"On the other side of the coin for us right now is that both of them (Nick and twin brother John) have been offered at schools like Towson and Richmond, I-AA schools, and to play together and get a great education at some of those schools gives us another opportunity that we're taking a hard look at. Hofstra is supposed to get back to us this week. Delaware has told him that they're going to come up and see a couple of games. In all those situations, both boys would be going to school there."

As a junior last season, Nick threw for an impressive 2,132 yards and 21 touchdowns. He also ran for an additional 7 scores. Although he has been told by several coaches the he has a very strong, accurate arm, has good footwork and reads defenses well, everything you'd want in a quarterback, he's had to learn the virtue of patience as he is still awaiting his first Division I-A scholarship offer.

"Everybody out there basically told him, 'What you're seeing is that you have a lot of the top schools going after that top core of quarterbacks and once they're gone, you're right at the top of that next group and everything's going to break out.'"

Duke and Maryland are a few of those teams. Maryland is apparently waiting to see what Jordan Steffy does.

"When Nick was down at Maryland, they told him he was the fastest kid they had at camp. They told him he had a very strong arm. He was throwing with touch down there.

"Those are the kind of things we're dealing with right now, so we're going to let the first one or two games go and see what happens."

Many schools are obviously looking for a 6'3" or taller quarterback prospect. Unfortunately, Nick can't change the fact that he's only about 6'1", or can he?

"I'm 6'5"," Nick's father explained. "The kid's still growing. I was 6-foot coming out of high school and all his first cousins are all over 6'3" and they were the same thing coming out of high school."

Right now, Nick is focused on his senior season and is more concerned with his team's goals.

"We're in a holding pattern. We're pretty excited about what's going to happen here. We have a great team and we think we're going to take a district run this year."

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