Sweat's Sweet Six

PITTSBURGH -- Scholarship offers are piling up for Andrew Sweat from Washington, Pa.'s Trinity High School, but the 6-foot-2, 233-pound linebacker is closing in on his final decision.

"I guess if I had to name a top five or six schools, right now, I would say -- not in any specific order -- those schools would be Ohio State, Notre Dame, Michigan, Florida, Penn State and Pitt,'' Andrew Sweat said. "I visited those schools. I've been to Florida twice and Notre Dame once. Ohio State five times. Penn State four times and Pitt maybe 10 times.

"So, I've seen them all, pretty much, and they all have their strong points. So, it's a tough decision. I live in Washington, Pa. It's not a real small town, but it's not Pittsburgh. So, I'm kind of in between rural and city life. And I could go either way for college. It doesn't really matter to me.''

Sweat showed why he is so highly recruited during the Scout.com Combine May 6 at the UPMC Sports Complex indoor field. He competed hard against some of the top backs in the tri-state area during the individual drills, but said he had a good time as well.

After going through several combines the next few weeks, Sweat likely will announce where he will play college football in 2008. Sweat prefers to make his decision prior to his senior season at Trinity so it doesn't interfere with his performance.

"I guess I have about 50 offers from all over,'' Sweat said. "I'll narrow it down and announce early so I can concentrate on playing football and working with my teammates to win some football games. That's the only important thing for me once the season starts, having fun with my teammates. So, I'll decide where I want to go to college and announce it before the season begins.''

Sweat's parents, Gary and Cheryl, don't really pressure him about his college choice, but they want him to stay relatively close to home so they can attend the games. All of his top schools are within driving distance, except for Florida, but Sweat said they probably wouldn't have a problem flying there if they have to just to see him play football.

"They're my biggest supporters, but they told me to always work hard for everything and not to expect anything,'' Sweat said. "But I never thought I was that good. I just went out and played football the best way that I know how to do, and that's been the best way to go for me. But a lot of letters and calls starting coming in, and it was unbelievable.

"It really was overwhelming for me, because I didn't know that many schools were interested in me. I couldn't believe it. I guess I had a pretty good junior season, and after the film got circulated from that the offers starting coming in. So, that's probably what got it going for me.''

Sweat's solid junior season occurred primarily on defense as a linebacker, because he pulled a hamstring that forced him to sit out most offensive series. That's why most schools are unaware that he has offensive skills, and he expected to display them possibly as a wideout, running back and quarterback this coming fall.

But it's highly probable that he'll be a linebacker in college.

"Actually, any linebacker position would be good for me, but some schools are recruiting me as a strong safety,'' Sweat said. "Iowa wants me to be a safety like Bob Sanders played. Ohio State's recruiting me for all three linebacker spots, but everybody pretty much wants me to play defense.''

And in just a short period of time, Sweat should announce where he'll play football next year, and everybody will know what position he'll play as well.

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