King-Sized Lesson

Despite the once-famed rivalry between Penn State and Pittsburgh, the schools have rarely competed for the same recruits. A few names will pop up each year, but not with the regularity one would suspect. This year, with a wealth of talent in Pennsylvania, there may be several battles between the once fierce rivals. One that is developing is with a highly touted linebacker from Gateway High in Monroeville.

The recruitment of Justin King not only thrust the spotlight upon his school, but it also helped his young teammates get noticed. One junior who has already received a written offer is the 6-foot-2, 220-pound (4.6) battering ram fullback/linebacker Dan Loheyde. Loheyde provided much of the lead blocking this past season for King.

Loheyde received a written offer from Pittsburgh two weeks ago at its first junior day of the year.

"It's my first, and Pitt is like the hometown team, so that means something to me," Loheyde said. "Coach [Dave] Wannstedt is a really nice guy, I really liked the whole coaching staff."

Penn State is among a handful of teams that have been showing interest in Loheyde, along with West Virginia, Connecticut, Maryland and Boston College.

"I'm going to Pitt's next junior day at the end of February. I'll also probably go to West Virginia and Maryland junior days," Loheyde said.

Loheyde got a firsthand view of the craziness that now surrounds high school football recruiting from King. King was the most highly recruited prospect in western Pennsylvania since North Hills star LaVar Arrington chose Penn State over a myriad of D-1 programs.

"I enjoyed watching Justin handle himself, I'm not ready for that much interest," Loheyde said. "He handled himself well. I learned that you have to be humble and not burn any bridges."

As far as camp plans are concerned, Loheyde is planning on attending the Nike Combine at Penn State and possibly one-day camps at West Virginia and Pittsburgh.

During the 2004 season Loheyde registered 130 tackles, three sacks, two interceptions, two forced fumbles, and he blocked two kicks. For his efforts he was named first-team All-Conference Quad Southwest, All-WPIAL Class AAAA Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, All-WPIAL Class AAAA Tribune-Review.

Loheyde's current list of favorites includes Pittsburgh, West Virginia, Penn State, Connecticut, Maryland and Boston College. Report: Loheyde is a bull, plain and simple. He is very physical and will blow up inside running plays. Has very good football speed. Very verbal, and shows tremendous leadership ability. Overall a very cerebral football player, he always puts himself into position to make plays.


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