Pa. five-star 2011 TE picks up Rutgers offer

The Scarlet Knights sent out a scholarship offer to the five-star tight end last week, and he received it Saturday. He is 6-foot-5, 240 pounds and holds well over a dozen offers already, and the number will only increase exponentially. The player had a combined 89 catches the last two seasons. "He's just a natural athlete in everything he does,'' according to his coach.

Rutgers already made an impact recruiting eastern Pennsylvania, and the Scarlet Knights are hoping their next great tight end is from the western side of the state.

However, there will be a huge recruiting battle to land the services of five-star Oil City (Pa.) High tight end Ben Koyack. The 6-foot-5, 240-pound class of 2011 Koyack received his Rutgers written offer in the mail Saturday.

"He's just a natural athlete in everything he does,'' LaVerde said. "He does it all. What's really impressive is how well he runs his routes and catches the ball. The speed for how big he is …is just shocking.

"Here's a great stat that shows how agile he is; as a freshman he started at shortstop on the baseball team.''

And, as a freshman, LaVerde said Koyack was 6-5, 220 pounds.

Koyack moved from baseball to track and field in the offseason because the training was more beneficial to football, but the results on the track and field were immediate.

"The first time he throws the javelin, it's far enough for district qualifying,'' LaVerde said. "First time he does the long jump, district qualifying. He went to the states for the javelin.''

Koyack has a plethora of offers, including ones from Ohio State, Virginia Tech, Boston College, Penn State, Michigan, Virginia Purdue and California. A Wisconsin offer is on the way.

"Penn State offered him a little while ago,'' LaVerde said. "Ohio State is his top choice right now.''

Koyack played quarterback as a freshman, running a spread offense that predominantly ran the ball. He completed 16 of 56 passes for 267 yards and a touchdown, and rushed 36 times for 154 yards and three touchdowns.

But when LaVerde took over as Oil City's coach after the 2007 season, Koyack moved to tight end and flourished.

Koyack had 48 catches for 800 yards and 10 touchdowns as a sophomore. He followed that with 41 catches for 748 yards and seven touchdowns as a junior despite missing the final four games after undergoing arthroscopic surgery to repair torn meniscus in his knee.

"He's unbelievably athletic,'' LaVerde said. "He's got ridiculously good hands.'' LaVerde knows plenty about big, athletic tight ends. He coached former Pittsburgh Panthers tight end Nate Byhum at Franklin (Pa.) High.

"Nate Koyack, at a younger age, was more athletic and bigger than Nate Byhum,'' LaVerde said. "I think when it's all said and done, Nate has some aggressiveness you can't teach. Ben doesn't have quite the aggressiveness on every play, but he can learn that.''

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