UT eyes Pennsylvania 'backer

The field pursuing a Pennsylvania linebacker just got a little more crowded.

Andre Mathis is a 6-2, 225-pounder from Cathedral Prep in Erie. He used his 4.6 speed to record 88 tackles and earn second-team all-state honors as a junior last fall. He also runs the 440-yard dash in track.

Mathis, rated a four-star prospect by TheInsiders, recently got two more scholarship offers, boosting his total to 17.

''Michigan State and Florida offered me within the last month or so,'' Mathis told Bob Lictenfels of TheInsiders.com.

Mathis previously got scholarship offers from Tennessee, Ohio State, Pittsburgh, Maryland, Boston College, Nebraska, West Virginia, Syracuse, Connecticut, Penn State, Iowa, Northwestern, Toledo, Purdue, and Indiana.

Asked to pinpoint a leader, Mathis declined.'

''Right now I'd say they all have a chance,'' he said. ''I'll probably narrow it down here real soon. I couldn't really put one team ahead of any of the others.''

Tennessee hasn't recruited Pennsylvania a whole lot in recent years. The Vols signed Mark Jones out of Wallingford in 2000 but he was their first signee from the Keystone State since J.J. Surlas (Mt. Pleasant) in 1989.

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