Nathan Stupar is on pace to be one of the top prospects in a deep class of 2007. The 6-foot-2, 220-pound defensive end has already received his first written offer.
Virginia offered me so far, Stupar said. I was surprised, but I loved it. I was like this is the real deal.
Stupar has been receiving interest from a number of programs including Penn State, Texas A&M, Indiana, Pittsburgh, Wisconsin, Syracuse, North Carolina, West Virginia, Virginia and Maryland. Virginia, West Virginia and Penn State have family ties with Stupar.
Nathan's brother Jonathan is a redshirt sophomore tight end at Virginia. His father Steve was a defensive tackle at Penn State from 1976-80. Uncles Ron, Doug, Todd and Jeff Hostetler all attended Penn State. Jeff transferred to West Virginia before going on to a successful NFL career. Nathan's athletic roots run clear back to his grandfather, who played his college ball at Tennessee.
Virginia is often a topic of discussion that causes some controversy in the Stupar household.
I always wanted to play with my brother for at least one season, he said. Me and my brother are two different people. I have to see what fits me best.
Stupar is leaving no stone unturned as he looks into schools. He has already attended games at Virginia, Penn State and Syracuse. He will head to Maryland this weekend and also plans on heading to West Virginia and North Carolina in the near future.
Penn State: I went to the Cincinnati game. It was great there. I really enjoyed it. They have a huge stadium. I would definitely be interested in playing there.
Syracuse: I got a chance to see my brother play (when Virginia played Syracuse). The Carrier Dome is very nice and they redid the surface there. It's a nice campus and everything is close together. They're building a new weight room, which should be very nice. It was a close game but Virginia won.
Virginia: I try to make all their home games, to see my brother. They have a beautiful campus. The facilities are very nice and they have a great staff.
Stupar had his coming out party in front of a statewide audience this year. State College took on the highly touted Crusaders of Bishop McDevitt in the opener, a game that was broadcast on PCN. Stupar knew it was his chance to shine.
I knew they [McDevitt] had a lot of talent, he said. LeSean McCoy was in my mind every night before that game. I knew I had to leave it all out on the field, there would be no excuses, no would've, should've or could've. Our defense played well and I had no regrets, I gave it everything I had.
Stupar did just that. Though his team lost a heartbreaker, 28-26, he had an outstanding performance on offense and defense for the Little Lions. One could've mistaken Stupar for a Bishop McDevitt running back as much time as he spent in their backfield, making a pair of sacks and several tackles for loss. Offensively, when the Little Lions needed a big play they often called on No. 88, as he scored two touchdowns.
So far on the season, Stupar estimates he has more than 30 tackles and six sacks on defense. Offensively he has caught 15 passes for 200 yards and three touchdowns. State College is 1-3, with all three losses by tight margins to top opponents.