|Bench Press:||290 pounds|
|School:||Princeton, Wv. (Princeton HS)|
Princeton HS linebacker Will Albin is a new name to surface in conjunction with Penn State. Or is it? Will, in fact, has been in constant contact with the Nittany Lion football staff since the summer. Although the 6'2'', 225 pounder does not have a scholarship offer from the Nittany Lions, he has recently been getting serious interest from them, along with instate schools, West Virginia and Marshall.
Despite missing three games this season with a slight tear in the Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL) of his knee, Will posted an impressive year for Princeton HS. As a fullback on offense, Will ran for 6.8 yards per carry and scored 11 touchdowns. From his middle linebacker position on defense, Will racked up 110 tackles and 3 interceptions. His play was good enough for him to win the Sam Huff Award, given to West Virginia's top linebacker, and become recognized as a First Team (AAA) all-stater.
Has Will's knee returned to 100%, since his season ended?
"I'm back. When I first hurt it, I couldn't dunk. But now I can dunk again."
"It wasn't completely torn, only a few fibers of my MCL were torn. I lost a lot of strength in my knee and I could tell a difference from the beginning of the year to the end of the year, when I was running through tackles. I really had to stretch it well and I wore a big brace. But it's ok now."
If coaches need proof that his knee has not been a problem for him lately, Will could just point to his weight room numbers.
"Our strength coach doesn't do one rep max for squats, we do body weight plus 50 [pounds] for reps. I did 285 for 35 reps. My dead lift set a school record for 515 pounds without straps."
During the preseason, Will also maxed his bench press at 290 pounds.
Will, who is being recruited by all interested schools as a middle linebacker, has already taken one official visit to Marshall (1-17), also the only school to have currently offered. Did he enjoy his Thundering Herd visit?
"I really liked it. I like Huntington as a city and I really got the chance to meet all the coaches. I talked to Coach Pruitt in person. Got a chance to hang out with the players too. It seemed like a place I would like to go."
Although neither Penn State or West Virginia have offered scholarships, they have both been in constant contact with Will.
"Penn State [Coach Carter] contacted me today [Monday 1/20] and Coach Gibson from West Virginia contacted me today."
"Coach Gibson and the Marshall coaches call a little more often than the Penn State coaches call."
"Coach Carter was down at my school last Wednesday, but we missed school. He came to talk to me but we missed school because of a snow day. I didn't get a chance to talk to him because he was in a big hurry. I talk to him almost once a week."
"I may go up to Penn State this weekend and West Virginia next weekend."
Coach Carter told Will he would be getting back to him with the official arrangements for the visit this weekend. It will not be Will's first trip to Penn State however. He attended camp at Penn State this June, where he caught the eye of the Penn State coaching staff.
"I participated with Coach Vanderlinden. He worked with me personally. Me and two others [Nick Stefanow and a linebacker from DC] guys. The third day I would have done more running back drills but Coach Paterno's brother [George] died, so all the coaching staff had to go and mostly graduate assistants ran the camp for one day."
Will enjoyed the experience of traveling to Penn State's game against Nebraska, with former Nittany Lion recruit, UConn wide receiver verbal, Seth Fogarty.
"It was a great game. There was 110, 000 people. It was amazing."
"It's a lot of fun. I like it a lot up there."
Will has a definite strong interest in the Nittany Lions that would no doubt improve with a scholarship offer. Does he have a current leader?
"I think I like Marshall the most because I have been to their campus recently. I also like Penn State because of all the tradition and Coach Paterno and the coaches are good coaches."
"Those are the three (Penn State, Marshall, and West Virginia) that are contacting me the most. Those are the three that I can see myself playing at."
Will has also already qualified, scoring a 1080 on his SAT and maintaining a 3.0 grade point average in the classroom.
(Interview by Steve Curry)