Greg Romeus ready to rumble

The University of Pittsburgh's football recruiting class of 2006 was considered one of the top ten in the nation. Despite the plethora of blue-chip players, every recruiting class has one or two players labeled "sleepers". There is no greater sleeper than defensive end Greg Romeus.

Greg Romeus (6-foot-5 inches, 230 pounds) from Coral Glades High School in Coral Springs, FL was primarily considered a basketball prospect entering his senior year in high school. At nearly 6-foot-6 inches tall, most believed he would play power forward for a mid-major college. Coral Glades High School Head Football Coach Rex Nottage thought differently. He coaxed Romeus into playing football.

Romeus, an unknown and neophyte to the game of football, instantly made an impact and improved exponentially throughout the season. With a large wingspan, speed and aggression, he quickly developed into a deadly pass rusher and playmaker. Greg registered 40 tackles and nearly 20 sacks last season. He was named his team's most valuable player.

Coral Glades High School has only been in existence for two-years. Romeus became the first athlete in the schools short history to early a division one scholarship.

"Letter of intent day was special. It was a great experience," stated Romeus. "We had the signing done at my high school and I was able to do it in front of my friend and family. It was a big decision and memorable moment. I felt very comfortable with my decision. It feels good to be a Panther."

Greg, known as "Stretch", elaborated on his reasons for choosing the University of Pittsburgh. "I wanted to join an up and coming program. I saw the talent Pitt has added to the recruiting class and I knew that Coach (Dave) Wannstedt was a great coach with experience," he said. "I was blown away by my visit. I really like the school and the people I met. Pittsburgh is a great sports town as well. The fans were going crazy with the Steelers when I was there."

Romeus is anxiously awaiting his freshman season with the Panthers. He's been diligently attempting to add muscle to his lengthy frame. "I work out four times a week right now. I'm up to a solid 228 pounds," he said. "I lift weights four times a week and I have started drinking a lot of protein shakes. I'm also part of the Chris Carter workout down here. I go two times a week and the workout includes treadmill work, work on explosion off the line, my vertical and forty-yard dash. I'm going everything possible to be prepared for my freshman season."

The University of Pittsburgh added four defensive ends to its stellar 2006 recruiting class. Romeus joins Justin Hargrove (6-foot-4 inches, 245 pounds) from Baldwin High School in Pittsburgh, PA, Tyler Tkach (6-foot-3 inches, 240 pounds) from Northern Lehigh High School in Slatington, PA and McKenzie Mathews (6-foot-2 ½ inches, 230 pounds) from Christian Brothers Academy in Syracuse, NY.

"I don't have any expectations heading into next year. I assume I won't be starting," said Romeus. "My goal is to get to Pittsburgh and learn as much about my position as possible. I've only been playing the position for a year and there is a lot more to learn. I'm going to work very hard to get some playing time. Hopefully I'll be in the rotation by my second year."

"I plan on getting bigger, faster and stronger as my career with the Panthers progresses."

When asked about his strengths, he stated, "I'm a pass rusher with speed (4.6 forty-yard dash). I just have a knack for getting to the quarterback. I like to think of myself as a playmaker and someone that's disruptive."

"I can't wait to get to Pittsburgh and be part of something special. I think my recruiting class is going to make a huge impact next year."

Harry G. Psaros can be contacted at harrypsaros@msn.com.


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