"Elite Strength"

St. Edward's High School head football coach Rick Finotti has built a powerful offensive line during his tenure at the Ohio school, and West Virginia benefited recently when it snagged a commitment from one of the toughest members of his unit.

Tyler Orlosky, who stands six feet, four inches and weighs 290 pounds, is at the high end of the scale in more areas than just those two measurables.

"The big thing about Tyler is that he has elite strength," Finotti said. "He's a 400-pound-plus bench presser and a 600-pound-plus squatter. He has the size and strength to play in Division I. He's very mobile, too. When we were doing our conditioning during offseason workouts, he just killed the times in the 110 yard runs."

Orlosky's talents don't stop there, however. Finotti sees him use his superior physical talents on the field in a variety of ways.

"He's serious about his body and his technique," the head coach said. "We are a multi-formational team, and he can do it all. We run a plot of power – we get in the I formation and get as physical as we can, and he leads out and gets on people. We spread it out some too, and in that he pulls a lot . He gets out and traps and can get to the edge and wrap back inside. No matter what we do, we don't have to adjust for him on offense."

A very serious player who shuns the spotlight, Orlosky takes his craft seriously, according to Finotti.

"He is a lead by example guy. He's quiet, but very serious about what he does. He wants to get better all the time, and when he's in workouts or at practice he is down to business. He doesn't like idle time – if there's a break he'll ask me to pick it up and get going. He wants to get to work."

Finotti notes, however, that Orlosky isn't all about football.

"He's from a tremendous family with a proud heritage, and he takes that seriously. One example I can give you is that we had a winter workout on a Saturday this past year, and he brought in a lot of handmade food for everyone, Pierogies, other food from his heritage, you name it. He takes his family seriously, and is very proud of that."

In addition to feeding the coaches on occasion, Orlosky is also dedicated to helping young players progress. Finotti relates stories of him helping at youth camps and working with younger players on the team, with a common result for all.

"No matter who he's with, anyone who is lifting on his rack (his station in the weight room) gets stronger. That's part of his lead by example ability. He shows them what to do and does it himself. He's a great help with the incoming players. He gives instruction and helps them get going and shows them how to work and get better."

Following on last year's commitment of offensive lineman Brandon Jackson (6-3, 325 lbs.), West Virginia now has two offensive linemen in two years from the Ohio state champions. There's no mystery about the attraction for Finotti, who details a two-way street between his school and WVU

"First, I think our style of play makes us attractive to West Virginia," he said. "We do throw the ball. Coach Bedenbaugh sees guys that can line up and play smash mouth, but that but can also spread out and run sprint protection and pass protect.

"The second thing is that going to West Virginia is going to be a part of something big. It's a big family, and it's bigger than just yourself. It's a down home atmosphere, and that's similar to what we have here. It's not just athletes that see that, either. WVU came in and did a great job of telling our school about itself, and we have about 12 or 14 students that are going there out of this class. There's just something about West Virginia that fits well with our kids."

Finotti has quickly built a good relationship with Bedenbaugh, and believes that his straightforward approach yields great results.

"One thing I really like about him is his approach to recruiting. He's very honest, very forthright, a positive guy. Our kids felt comfortable around him. A lot of guys come in and try to promise the world, but that's not his way. He has always been honest with the kids. He allowed them to get to know him.

Mountaineers Daily Top Stories