Gradkowski projects as a guard on the next level due to his height. He's known for his physicality on the football field. Gino's friend and neighbor Chris Jacobson (6-foot-3 inches, 290 pounds) from Keystone Oaks High School in Pittsburgh, PA was the first class of 2007 player to commit to Pitt. Gino attended spring practice with Jacobson and his teammate Myles Caragein (6-foot-3 inches, 260 pounds).
Gradkowski, Caragein and Jacobson are good friends. When asked if the trio of players would like to play together in college, he stated, "It would be great. We have talked about it. I don't want to say we are some sort of a package deal, but it would be great to have them as teammates."
"Lumpy (Chris Jacobson) is recruiting me all the time. He really wants me to come to Pitt."
Despite Gradkowski's friendship with Craig Jacobson, he also has ties to West Virginia and Toledo. Carmen Connolly, a freshman receiver at WVU, happens to be Gino's cousin. Connolly is actively recruiting him and hoping to see him in a Mountaineer uniform. Gino's brother Bruce was a record setting quarterback for Toledo the last two seasons. He is generally considered one of the top prospects in the up coming NFL draft.
"Pitt, West Virginia and Toledo have offered me scholarship," he said. "I like Pitt and West Virginia quite a bit. Coach Dunn at Pitt and Coach Trickett at WVU are two of the best offensive line coaches in the country. It's great to know I could be playing for either one."
"I want to go to the combines first of the summer and then make a decision from there. Pitt is very high on my list. I really like it there."
Harry G. Psaros can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.