PITT offers an Illinois Hammer

University of Pittsburgh football fans have grown accustomed to Head Football Coach Dave Wannstedt and staff recruit players from Pennsylvania, Ohio, New York and Florida. It appears he decided to expand his recruiting efforts. Last week a hard hitting linebacker from Illinois was offered a scholarship.

"I called Coach (Dave) Wannstedt last Friday and he offered me a scholarship on the phone. He seemed like a really nice guy and he's was very excited about the offer," stated linebacker Kevin Rouse (6-foot-1 inches, 220 pounds) from Joliet Catholic Academy in Joliet, IL. "He told me they wanted me to play middle linebacker and that I would fit perfectly into their 4-3 scheme."

Rouse registered 90 tackles and 25 tackles for a loss as a junior. He is capable of bench pressing 300 pounds, squatting 550 pounds and running a 4.58 forty-yard dash.

"I have scholarship offers from Iowa, Iowa State, Kansas, Ole Miss, North Carolina State, Minnesota, Northwestern and Pitt," said Rouse. "I'm wide open at this point. I really don't have any favorites."

H.B. Blades, the Panthers senior All-American middle linebacker, will graduate after the 2006 season. It appears the coaching staff believes Rouse would make an outstanding replacement.

When asked about his strengths, Kevin stated, "My main asset has to be my speed. I think my speed is my main reason for all of my offers. I'm a hard hitter as well."

Rouse was named all-conference and honorable-mention all-area as a junior. He is a solid student with a 3.0 grade point average.

"I don't plan on going to any individual football camps. I plan on visiting school in July and making my final decision in August before football season. I would like to visit Pitt to see what it's about."

"I want to go to the schools that offered me and see what school best suits me. Academics and athletics are important but I need to feel comfortable."

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


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