Prep QB Visits Nittany Lions

<b>Jay Graber</b> gained close to 30 pounds since his 2002 senior season at New Jersey's Notre Dame High School when he threw for over 2,800 and 35 touchdowns. He is now enrolled in New York's Trinity Pawling Prep School, hoping to earn Division I-A scholarship offers.

Name: Jay Graber
Position: QB
Height: 6'3"
Weight: 207 pounds
40-yard dash: 4.68 seconds
Bench Press: 250 pounds
School: Trinity-Pawling School, Pawling, NY

"I went to school at Notre Dame High School in New Jersey," Jay explained. "We were Parochial A, Group 4. We play against teams like Don Bosco, Bergen Catholic and Camden Catholic. Basically, we play against the top 5 teams in the state every year.

"Last year, I led New Jersey in passing. I threw for 2,850 yards and 35 touchdowns. We finished 9-1. I played at about 6'2 1/2", 180 pounds last year. We lost in the state semifinal to Bergen Catholic by I think a touchdown and a field goal.

"We had a good year last year, but I don't feel I was endorsed enough. I had a scholarship to Lafayette, which I didn't take. So, I looked at a couple different prep schools and decided [Trinity-Pawling] was the best place for me. Coach [Dave Coratti] is a great guy and he's going to do a lot for me. He was a huge influence in my decision. I'm going to try to take advantage of it. I gained a lot of weight over the summer. I didn't play baseball just to concentrate on lifting and getting bigger and stronger. I got faster actually too. I think I was like a 4.8 my senior year."

Jay has done well so far this year at Trinity-Pawling, an all boys prep school which includes post-graduate students in addition to grades 7 through 12. Graber has led the Pride to a 4-1 record, throwing for over 1,100 yards and 12 touchdowns with only one interception.

"We play in a conference called the Erickson Conference, which is a private school New England Conference," explained Dave Coratti, who has been coaching at Trinity-Pawling for 23 Years, 17 as the head coach.

"New England divides the prep schools from A to D and we're New England A, which means the teams we play are Kent, Hotchkiss, Taft, Avon Old Farms, Loomis Chaffee, Salisbury, the bigger private schools in New England.

"He's a player. Obviously, he has a great arm and the thing about him is that he's very accurate. His completion percentage--, our first game, he was 18 for 22. He doesn't miss by much. The greatest thing is his sense in the pocket, knowing when the rush is coming and how to side-step it and then find the open receiver. He's very good at that."

Does the quarterback run the ball much in their offensive scheme?

"We will once in a while. We're not an option team and he's not an option quarterback, but certainly things like quarterback draws, and his rushing touchdown was on a planned waggle run. He can do that well, but if a team is looking for an option quarterback, he's not for them really. He's more of a classic pro-style quarterback who has good mobility in the pocket."

Being a post-graduate, Jay was not able to attend any college summer football camps this year. A year ago, however, he attended summer camps at Virginia, Pittsburgh, Penn State and Boston College. The Nittany Lions and Eagles are two of the teams that have kept in touch with Graber.

"I actually just got back from Boston College last week (10/12) and they're real interested now," said Jay. "They signed a quarterback, but they might sign another one.

"I also went on an unofficial to Penn State. Hopefully, they're interested. That's the school I'd like to go to. I've been a fan of Penn State my whole life. Their quarterback situation right now is great and the facilities are excellent. It would just be a great place to go right now and a good situation."

Penn State assistant coach Dick Anderson is recruiting Jay and invited him to State College to attend the game against Minnesota in late September, an invitation Graber accepted.

"Before the game, we just went to a little brunch and all the coaches came around and said hello to a couple different recruits that were there. We got to watch their warm-ups from the field and then we watched the game from the front row. We saw the press conference afterwards and spoke to Coach Anderson after that. He said that they were real interested and to send my film up after a couple games. They weren't sure what they were going to do yet."

Jay left Penn State that night to travel to Akron for an unofficial visit.

"I'm actually sending film out this week to all the schools that I'm interested in."

Several Division I schools have expressed interest in Graber.

"Penn State, Boston College, Akron, Central Michigan, Eastern Michigan," listed Coach Coratti. "Now some of it's in the preliminary stage. Don Johnson from UCLA called me up specifically about Jay and I sent a tape out there, Coach Mattison from Notre Dame, I sent a tape just recently out there because they had some interest in him, Utah had some interest in him so I just sent a tape out there. So, some of it's in the preliminary stages, but the first few I mentioned have been ongoing.

"The Ivy League schools are very interested in him, Dartmouth, Brown and Columbia specifically. Of course as you can imagine, a lot of the Division IAA places like Lehigh, Georgetown and places like that. He's a real good one.

"At Notre Dame High School last year, he threw for 2,800 yards and 35 touchdowns. He was one of the top quarterbacks in the state of New Jersey. I think some of the bigger schools wanted him to fill out a little bit more. He played last year at about 180 pounds. He had a strength coach all summer and as I told you, he weighs 208 now.

"I know 1-AA places were interested, but he wanted to try to go to Division I. A lot of them thought that a prep year would help him out."

Did they Nittany Lions recruit Graber last year?

"They actually had some interest last year in him. They were also one of the ones who thought he should beef up a little bit. So, since they knew he was coming here, they've still been interested. I think, from what I've heard, they have maybe a list of 5 or 6 quarterbacks and he's in that list that they're interested in."

Fight On State Top Stories