Pa. Star Epitomizes Student Athlete

You can search through databases of prospects and 'google' thousands of searches, and yet you'd be still hardpressed to find a better poster child for student athletes, than North Lehigh's Tyler Tkach.

The 6-foot-3, Defensive End/Tight End prospect from Slatington (Pa.), Tyler Tkach is not only a solid dual threat athlete, but holds an astonishing 4.55 GPA, while taking honors classes.

"I just enjoy school," Tkach said, "I work hard at my school work like I do on football."

Grades is one of the more attractive traits surrounding Tkach, whom will have the option of graduating early in December and enrolling at the school of his choice for the spring semester. That would mean, as a true freshmen, he would have the option of enrolling in time for spring practice.

"College coaches haven't really pushed it," Tkach responded, "they have told me to do what I want to do and that they are not going to push me to do graduate early or not. They say it's up to me, so we'll see."

Tkach intends on majoring in Sports Management or Business, possibly having a minor as well.

"When the time comes," the rising senior said, "I'll sit down and weigh the positives and negatives and then we'll decide."

The Pennsylvania native hauled in 20 catches for nine touchdowns on offense, last season while registering an impressive 11 sacks on defense. At 240 pounds and boasting of a 4.9-second speed in the 40-yard dash, Tkach has shown impressive versatility and finished off 2004 with all-league, all-area and all-state honors.

His recruitment has taken off since his junior season ended, seeing the likes of Stanford, Michigan State, Connecticut, Iowa, Virginia, Virginia Tech, UNC, Notre Dame and Northwestern looking to turn his head. The early poll sitters are the three schools that have already offered - Georgia Tech, North Carolina State and Pittsburgh.

"I like Pittsburgh a lot," Tkach said, "I like their coaching staff and the community. It's just like a football town. Coach Wannstedt is a great coach and their coaching staff is just phenomenal. I really like their football complex that they share with the Steelers."

His second offer, from NC State, encouraged Tkach to take an unofficial visit to Raleigh during the spring.

"NC State's facilities were amazing," Tkach described. "I've never seen anything like that and neither had my Dad. It was very impressive to say the least."

Distance will not be a factor in choosing a school, although Tkach does admit to wanting his family to have the opportunity to watch him play. Ideally that would be put Pittsburgh as the team to beat. Tkach agrees; "They are still probably the favorite right now."

Tkach will camp at Pittsburgh this summer and is up in the air as to who else will get a camp visit.

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