Mountain State Kicker Awaits Offers

A strong placekicker with plenty of leg is beginning to make the rounds of summer camps in search of a collegiate home.

Morgantown (W. Va.) High School's Patrick Shadle has grabbed the attention of a number of schools, including the hometown WVU Mountaineers. Shadle, who attended West Virginia's rising senior camp in May, is now preparing for a busy summer.

"We ran through a few drills, and I think I did fairly well," Shadle told "There was another kicker there from Philadelphia (Kevin Kelly) who kicked well too. I am still getting used to kicking off the ground, but I think I did o.k."

Like most high schoolers, Shadle must prepare for his senior season, where he can use a tee, and at the same time practice without a tee to ready himself for college camps and the ever-present eyes of recruiters.

He admits that can be difficult at times, but has found some adjustments that are helping him make the transition.

"I've been practicing on the weekends without a tee, and when I do that I put my plant foot a little bit further forward," Shadle explained. "That helps me get the ball up, and I haven't seen that much of a dropoff in my distance. I can hit from 55-60 yards in practice with a tee, and I'm shooting for the West Virginia state record (55 yards) this fall."

With WVU's Brad Cooper entering his final season, the Mountaineers are looking for a kicker in this year's class, and Shadle could be the target. He kicks off a similar surface as that which covers Mountaineer Field, and professes to like it best. However, a number of other schools are also showing interest in the Morgantown native.

Although he has yet to receive any offers, Shadle has gotten interest from Syracuse, Northwestern, Notre Dame, Bowling Green, Penn State, Boston College and Virginia Tech. He has already attended Notre Dame's senior day, and plans to hit many of the other schools during the summer camping season.

While WVU might have a hometown edge (Shadle has been to every West Virginia home game the last four years, and admits that playing in his own backyard would be good), the Nittany Lions also exert a special draw on Shadle. That's because both his parents are PSU alums. As a result Shadle treked to PSU's camp last year, and plans a repeat visit soon.

Shadle hopes to garner some scholarship offers, but realizes that grants-in-aid for kickers are tough to come by.

"I want to play for the biggest school I can, but I know it's hard for kickers to get offers, especially early. It's a cycle, and a lot of schools want you to come and prove yourself before they give you an offer. It's tough, but I'm going to keep kicking this summer and see what happens."

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