Two-time MD All-Stater Visiting Colleges

<b>Joe Akers</b> has been an all-state performer since his sophomore season. LionNews recently checked in with the two-way lineman to see how the recruiting process was going? What schools are showing the most interest in Joe? Is Penn State one of them? Does he have any offers?

Name: Joe Akers
Position: OL-DL
Height: 6'2.5"
Weight: 315 pounds
40 Speed:5.0 seconds (2003 Virginia Tech Nike Camp)
Bench Press:365 pounds
Hometown/School: Parkton, MD (Hereford HS)

Joe Akers was named to the Small School and Consensus (Big and Small Schools combined) All-State teams as an offensive lineman following both his sophomore and junior seasons. Joe will probably move from tackle to guard for his senior season. While gaining most of his all-star notice as an offensive lineman, Joe also plays the defensive line and recorded 11 sacks and 120 tackles during his junior season. Hereford High School was 9-3 last year and 10-0 during Joe's sophomore season.

LionNews recently spoke to this articulate and outgoing senior-to-be about the schools that are expressing interesting in him. While he is received no offers at this point, Akers is expected to be one his home state's top recruits for the coming season. Joe is being recruited at center, guard and nose guard. We asked him which schools are showing interest.

He told us, "I'd have to say Penn State, Marshall, Virginia Tech, Maryland, Connecticut, Alabama, North Carolina and Ohio State. I just got back from Penn State junior day Saturday. It went well. I talked to Coach Paterno and Larry Johnson, he's my recruiter for this area. I took a tour and it was very nice."

How did his discussion with Coach Paterno go?

"We didn't discuss any offers. I talked to him for about 5 or 10 minutes. He asked me about my grades. What I wanted to major in. I told him I really didn't know yet. He said that's okay, we don't tell kids at 17 that they have to know exactly what they want to do for the rest of their life. He said it took me awhile before I realized I wanted to be a coach."

Akers continued, "I went with my Mom, Dad and my cousin. They gave me a tour of the school. We met the weight coach, who was the assistant weight training coach. We met the head trainer. It was a tour. It was very nice. Very organized." How many other players were there? "Probably about 10 or 12."

Joe told us that this was his first unofficial recruiting trip to Penn State but that he had family in the area and had seen a few games when he was younger. We asked about trips to other schools. Akers responded, "I took a junior day at Maryland. That was very nice. I also took a junior day at Ohio State. It was very nice. In the fall I went to a game at Marshall, who I'm very interested in, and Virginia. I'm thinking about (trips to) Pittsburgh, Alabama, North Carolina. I should have that planned out in another week or week and a half or so".

Any teams that Joe grew up liking or that stick out right now?

"Marshall is a very big school of mine. Penn State definitelyk, Virginia Tech and Maryland. I don't know if they're the top schools on my list, but I've grown up liking them and they might be showing the most interest. UConn is also showing a lot of interest."

We asked Akers what he liked about each of his favorites.

Marshall: "It's a good institution. I like (Head Coach) Bob Pruett a lot. I think they have an excellent coaching staff and I think they have a great weight program. They'll be moving to Conference USA and I just think they have a first class program."

Penn State: "Same thing. The weight program is pretty good. Any time you're dealing with Penn State you gotta like that blue and white. It's an excellent program. Coach Larry Johnson is a first class guy. It's a first class program."

Virginia Tech: "To tell you the truth, it's the exact same. All these three schools are just great, classy programs. Tony Ball who's recruiting my area, is a great individual. They really have a great program and they do a great job."

Maryland: "Very good program. Coach O'Brien is a great guy. They are pretty close to home and that's always a factor."

We asked Joe the position for which Penn State was recruiting him. He told us, "Basically all the same. Center, possibly guard, nose guard. I don't how much room they'll have for linemen this year. They did recruit a lot of linemen last year. "

We concluded our discussion by asking Akers which camps he was planning to attend.

"I'll probably hit the Maryland camp. I'm thinking about the Penn State camp. Maybe Marshall. Virginia Tech probably. I don't know if I'll do any more combines. Probably not from what I'm thinking right now."

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