Newcomer Profile - Adam Bednarik

WVU's third string quarterback is in the spotlight of our newcomer profile today.


QB, 6-3, 215 lbs., 4.8

Bethlehem Catholic High School – Bethlehem, Pa.

Talented quarterback prospect who led the Bethlehem Catholic Hawks to an 11-1 record and undefeated regular season … was 148 of 225 passing for 2,356 yards … threw 27 touchdowns against just four interceptions … first-team all-area, all-Lehigh Valley Conference and all-state for coach Chuck Sonon … named team MVP and the Lehigh Valley player of the year … earned all-conference honors at safety as a sophomore and receiver as a junior.

"He is a field general," Sonon told the Allentown Morning Call. "The kids believe in him, rally behind him, and they know that if they give him enough of an opportunity, good things are going to happen." Top 50 in state, Superprep Top 30 and PrepStar all-regional

"I think I fit in pretty well to Coach Rodriguez's offensive system," said Bednarik. "They run spread, and I know Coach Rodriguez told me they would like to get the ball down the field some more. I think that's something I do pretty well. In terms of running with the ball, we did run some option in high school, and I did OK. I'm not as fast as Rasheed (Marshall, WVU's junior-to-be quarterback), but I usually can run when I need to. I consider myself a better thrower than a runner, but I can run when I have to. If that's an area Coach Rodriguez wants me to improve, I'll work on it, and I'm confident I can do whatever they need me to do."

All-area and all-league basketball standout as well who scored his 1,000th career point … averaging 16 points a game this year for Becahi (as Bethlehem Catholic is known by the Lehigh Valley locals) as a shooting guard and small forward … basketball team won 20 games and particpated in league playoffs … also an all-area pitcher, as well as a shortstop on the baseball team … posted an 8-0 record and a 1.74 ERA as a sophomore pitcher for the Hawks and was 7-3 with a 2.1 ERA last spring, earning all-area notice both seasons … third cousin is NFL Hall of Famer Chuck Bednarik

Also recruited by Connecticut, Rutgers, Iowa and Purdue but visited WVU early, liked what he saw and committed to the Mountaineers in October.

"I wanted to play for a good football program, but I didn't want to go too far away from home," said Adam. "West Virginia just seemed like the perfect place. I went down there last fall for a couple of games, and the atmosphere was just amazing. I really fell in love with the place and the fans. And the coaches also made me feel very comfortable. They were very nice to me, and I thought they had my best interest at heart."

Also influenced by a pair of former Mountaineers on the Bethlehem Catholic coaching staff – Artie Owens, who is the Hawks' offensive coordinator, and Dan Kendra, Sr., who is Becahi's quarterback coach … Owens (1972-75) is still third on WVU's all-time rushing list (2,648), behind only Avon Cobourne and Amos Zereoue, while Kendra (1974-77) remains in fifth in all-time passing yardage with 4,781.

"Coach Owens and Coach Kendra both were a big influence in getting me to look at West Virginia," explained Bednarik, who first came to WVU on an unofficial visit during the Mountaineers' fall practice last August with Kendra. "They told me what a great place it was and what a wonderful experience they had there. I'll admit I didn't know much about West Virginia until they started talking to me. Then when I came down and saw what West Virginia did have to offer, I was blown away. The facilities they have are as good as anybody's, and Coach Rodriguez is developing a first-class program. I'm glad Coach Owens and Coach Kendra talked me into looking at West Virginia, because it did turn out to be the best place for me."

Started as a strong safety for the Hawks as a sophomore and also played some tailback, finishing the season with four interceptions … was a starting wide receiver and strong safety as a junior before taking over as the starting quarterback in the last four games, throwing for 1,071 yards in that time … Bethlehem Catholic was 10-3 in 2001 … will be a physical education major … son of John and Rosie Bednarik.

What Rich Rodriguez says: "We think Adam can be a great quarterback in our system. He's a big guy but still very athletic. He's a very good basketball and baseball player as well. We think he's got a chance to be an outstanding quarterback for us. Some people may think he's a sleeper, but he can throw and run, and we like that ability for our quarterbacks."

What Herb Hand says: "Adam may be a bit of a sleeper. He is, but he isn't. If he had been playing quarterback all throughout his high school career, he would have been a more widely known kid. But his junior year, he played behind a senior who ended up going to Lehigh, and Adam didn't get much of a chance to play until the last four games. But he threw for around 1,110 yards and 12 touchdowns in those four games. This year he was an unknown coming in but wound up being a first-team all-state selection. He's a tremendous competitor, and we think he's going to be a great player."

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