Lineman Names 2 Favorites

John Rochford has garnered several scholarship offers including one from the Nittany Lions. He talks about his visits and names his 2 current favorites.

Name: John Rochford
Position: OL, DL
Height: 6'3"
Weight: 290 pounds
40-yard dash: 5.2
Bench Press: 295 pounds
School: Mainland Regional HS, Linwood, NJ

John played in all eleven games for Mainland Regional last year and excelled on both sides of the ball.

"Last season I played offensive tackle, but this year I'm moving to guard," John said.  "We run the Delaware Wing-T offense and they want to get me out pulling and stuff like that which they think will be better for the offensive line.  I'm happy with the move too.

"On defense, I play defensive tackle.  I had 70 tackles and 5 sacks last season.

"Defensively, I shed blocks real well.  I get after the ball.  I made a lot of tackles this year just running downfield after the ball.  I'm kind of like a linebacker sometimes playing that position.  Offensively, I just try to manhandle people, pancake them, get inside them, keep my legs moving and stay low and that's been effective for me.

"I was 1st Team All-Conference, 1st Team All-Group 3 and 3rd Team All-South Jersey last year."

John has already received several scholarship offers in writing.

"So far I've gotten offers from Miami, Wisconsin, Penn State, Iowa and Temple.

"Miami is up in the air between offense and defense.  Penn State said probably nose tackle on defense.  I think Iowa and Wisconsin want me for offense.  I'm open to playing either side of the ball.

"Right now, my top 2 are Miami and Penn State.  They are the ones that interest me the most.  They're two big-time programs.  I actually got to visit both of those schools unofficially.

"I went to Penn State on their junior day back in April and then I visited Miami.  I flew down there for an unofficial visit earlier this month."

John's visit to Penn State was during the Blue-White game.

"I liked it a lot.  I was really impressed with the campus and everything.  I thought it was real nice.  I met Joe Paterno for a little bit in the locker room.  I also met Larry Johnson, the defensive line coach, Coach Anderson, the offensive line coach and Brian Norwood, who is the recruiting coordinator for this area."

What was it like meeting Joe Paterno?

"He's only the greatest coach in college football, so it was pretty awesome.  I shook his hand and talked with him a little bit.  He didn't talk much about football.  He just talked about where I was from and stuff like that, but it was real neat talking to him."

The young lineman enjoyed the game despite the somewhat inclement weather.

"All the fans still came out, it was kind of neat seeing all that.  It was fun.  Their fans are nuts."

John also thoroughly enjoyed his visit to Miami.

"I loved it.  I really enjoyed that.  I like all the coaches there and the campus and all that was really nice, so I was real impressed.  [The distance] is not really a problem with me.  I haven't really put much thought into it, but I don't think I'd mind playing that far away.  I kind of want to stay on the East coast, but it's real easy for me to get to Miami because we have a little airport here in Atlantic City and I can just fly out, so it wouldn't be that bad."

Rochford has also taken unofficial visits to Maryland and North Carolina.  He might visit a few more schools, but he is currently undecided as to which.

"It's not definite, but I think I'm going to make my decision before the season starts, like in August.

"The deciding factors will be which program can get me to the highest level, where I'm going to play the most and what the best situation for me is.  I have a lot of thinking to do, but both of those schools are just unbelievable.  The other schools aren't out yet either.  I haven't even gotten to visit them yet so maybe I'll go to Iowa or Wisconsin and really like that and change my mind.  Everything's up in the air right now."

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