Gress Grows Up

West Mifflin lineman Adam Gress is a much sought-after prospect at 6-7 and 285 pounds. He went to Pitt's junior day and the Panthers are right in the mix!

It's not surprising West Mifflin lineman Adam Gress is receiving lots of interest from potential colleges.

After all, Gress is 6-7, has put on 30 pounds to rise to 285 pounds, and often was often asked to pass block in 2007 considering the Titans finished 3-6.

But the list of schools that have sent Gress letters reads almost like the table of contents to a preseason annual.

There's Pitt and Penn State, of course.

But there's also Boise State, Boston College, Buffalo, Cincinnati, Connecticut, Georgia Tech, Minnesota, North Carolina, Ohio State, Rutgers, Syracuse, Virginia, and West Virginia.

"Tons of coaches have come to my school. That's how I met Dave Wannstedt the first time," Gress said.

"Greg Schiano, the coach at Rutgers, came here and landed his private helicopter on the softball field!"

And people wonder why the West Mifflin softball team only won one game last year.

This past weekend Gress attended Pitt's junior camp and left with rave reviews.

"I thought it was great, to be honest," he said. "I met Coach Wannstedt again. And Greg Gattuso seemed like a real nice guy. I liked him.

"From what I read they have a good recruiting class coming up. It seems they're up and coming."

Despite the meeting with Gattuso, Gress is being projected as an offensive tackle, though he played on both offense and defense at West Mifflin last season.

Gress began playing the line as a middle school player and began as a blocking tight end for the Titans in 9th and 10th grade before moving to left tackle this season, though he is naturally right handed.

Gress attributes his weight gain to daily two-hour weight lifting sessions after school with teammates Duane Burgwin, Brian Benjamin, and Casey Scalese.

Much has been made of Gress rooting for Penn State growing up. His uncle, John Pido, is a Penn State graduate and fan, so rooting for the Nittany Lions seemed natural for Gress. In fact, his uncle and mother Lisa will be going with Uncle John and Adam to State College for Penn State's Junior Day on April 5.

But along with going to Penn State games growing up, Gress also attended Panthers games at Heinz Field, including last season's 34-14 loss to Connecticut.

Gress also went to Buffalo last season to see the Bulls play Bowling Green with head coach Tim Brennan and Kent State commit T.J. Williams, but the real highlight was traveling to Columbus and seeing Ohio State beat Wisconsin 38-17.

"It was awesome! A great atmosphere," Gress said of his visit to Ohio Stadium.

But it's too early to project a front-runner for his services.

"I'd like to stay closer to home, but there are no clear-cut favorites," Gress said. "If I were to commit early, I wouldn't have any stress, but sometimes the want to go to a school will make me work harder during the season.

"The chance to play has a lot to do with [my decision]. What good are 100,000 fans if I don't play?"

Gress, who reportedly scored a 1320 on his SAT test, is leaning towards majoring in English.

He plans to attend a Camp at UPMC this Saturday afternoon after taking his SAT again in the morning.

Panther More Top Stories