Panthers add quality walk-on

University of Pittsburgh Head Coach Dave Wannstedt is in the process of rebuilding the Panthers offensive line. Fans have eagerly anticipated the impact of touted linemen like Joe Thomas and Jeff Otah. It appears they will be joined by a talented walk-on player with the potential to solidify a scholarship. Read on for details.

Alex Karabin (6-foot-2 inches, 305 pounds) had been a four-year starter on the offensive line for Greensburg Central Catholic High School in Greensburg, PA. He was a leader on and off the football field and hoped to receive scholarship offers from upper echelon football programs. West Virginia and Indiana initially displayed considerable interest in Alex, but neither came through with a scholarship offer. Karabin opted to accept an appointment to the United States Air Force Academy.

Karabin spent the 2005 season as the starting guard for the U.S. Air Force Prep. He named the back-up center as well. After going head to head with some of the best junior college competition, he opted to take another look at D1 football. It didn't take him long to realize the University of Pittsburgh was thin at the center position.

"I join the Pitt football team in August," stated Karabin. "I started looking at schools and I noticed that Pitt has a senior starter at center and a junior backup. I was hoping I could get there and earn a scholarship by December."

"I was down at the Southside yesterday and I spoke with Coach (Dave) Wannstedt, Coach (Paul) Dunn and Coach (Curtis) Bray. They seem like great coaches with plenty of experience. I believe I can learn a lot from them."

Karabin was a four-year starter at defensive tackle and left guard. He has Herculean strength comparable to players in the National Football League. Alex is capable of bench pressing 400 pounds and squatting 750 pounds.

"I don't regret my time at Air Force Prep. I could have gone to a D II school and played against lesser competition. Last year I went head to head with the top junior colleges in the nation. Schools like Dixie and Snow Junior Colleges. One of the schools had the top junior college player in the nation. It helped me improve as a player."

When asked about his strengths, he stated, "I like playing inside. I'm strong and I can handle 300 pound defensive tackles. I have quick feet and I can really get off the ball. I'm also good at reading what the defense is going to do."

Karabin happens to be good friends with 2007 wide receiver prospect Nick Sukay. When asked about his upcoming decision, he stated, "I think he's down to Penn State and Pitt with Notre Dame in the mix. Myself, Nick, Cody Catalina and Max Suter are all pretty good friends."

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


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