A Closer Look at Suhey

With Penn State adding Joe Suhey as a recent addition to their Class of 2007, Nittany Lion fans are curious about exactly what kind of athlete Suhey is and the abilties he will bring to Happy Valley. Get a closer look at the future Nittany Lion Joe Suhey and what he has to offer PSU.

It's clear that Joe Suhey comes from an impressive athletic lineage. After all his father, Matt, was a standout fullback at Penn State and for the Chicago Bears from 1980 to 1989, who made a career of blocking for Walter Payton. His grandfather, Steve, was an All-American at PSU in the 1940s. His great grandfather, Bob Higgins, was another Penn State All-American and coach for the Nittany Lions.

Despite that long lineage of PSU athleticism, fans are curious about Suhey's own athletic skills nad what he can contribute to PSU. A multi-sport standout for his Loyola team over his high school career, the 6-foot-2, 200 pound Suhey is a three-year varsity football starter.

This past season his Loyola team was ranked No. 4 in the Chicago Tribune's Top 20 rankings and considered among the preseason favorites in the Chicago region.

Called a "spark plug" for the Loyola offense, Suhey is a versatile player who has seen action at a variety of positions like wide reciever, quarterback and running back. He has shown great utility for his team over the course of his Loyola career.

When his Rambler team's starting running back, Adam Gelsomino, went down in the preseason with a knee injury, Suhey was the unexpected replacement.

Although he was knocked out of the Gordon Tech clash with a painful rib injury, he returned to the field the next week to face Providence. In that clash he rushed for 147 yards on 28 carries and led his team to a 14-7 win. In fact, Suhey accounted for 202 of the Ramblers' 283 total yards in that game, over 70 percent of Loyola's total offense.

He led his team out to a fast 5-0 start, but the squad ended up losing their final four games of the season.

Despite this, Suhey showed that he can run and catch the ball this year, making touchdown receptions of 25, 30 and 45 yards. In fact, he was honored as an All-Area selection at wide receiver for his performance this year. He was also named to the Chicago Sun Times' Top 100 players list for the region.

Like his father, the younger Suhey has been called a "blue collar" type player - and like his father, is humble about his abilties. When asked to compare his skills with his elder's, Joe told the Chicago Tribune, "Aw man, my dad was one heck of a football player in high school. I'm not even close to him yet."

When his father was asked to make the same comparison, he said, "Joe is a much better all-around athlete than I was. I was a power running back and a wrestler at my Pennsylvania high school. Joe does everything in football and is a good basketball player too."

Speaking of basketball, Suhey was a standout on the hardwood for Loyola as well, playing small forward and averaging eight points per game. He is really known for his defensive play though, serving as a force for Loyola.

Playing with Jeff Jordan, Michael Jordan's son, he led his team to the Mundelein Tournament Championship and the Wheeling Christmas Tournament Championship last year. He was also selected to the All-Tournament team for Wildcat Hardwood Classic and was an All-Conference selection.

Although Suhey has the "legacy" term attached to his name, he has illustrated that he has the athletic ability to make an impact in a variety of roles in multiple sports. It will be interesting to see how his Penn State career plays out and where exactly he ends up at the next level.

Some see him as a fullback, other project him as wideout, while others predict he will grow into a linebacker and still others believe he will end up as a safety. It should be interesting to see.


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