Practice Peeks

A western Pennsylvania lineman has a plan for learning what coaches are really like, and as a result he has made an appearance at several schools during spring drills.

"I think you have to visit schools during practices to see what the coaches are like," outstanding prospect Gino Gradkowski said of his spring itinerary. "You are going to be spending a lot of time with your coach in college, and you need to find out what he's really like. That will determine whether you like your college experience, so I am visiting as many as I can."

Gradkowski's journeys took him to West Virginia earlier this week, where he checked out WVU's fast-paced spring drills, as well as his potential position coach.

"The practice was intense and at top speed, and that's the way I like it," said the striaghtforward Gradkowski, who likes WVU's go get 'em style. "I came down for the Connecticut game last year, but this is the first chance I had to see what the practices were like."

Much of his attention, obviously, was on offensive line coach Coach Rick Trickett, and again the Pennsylvania native saw a lot to like.

"Coach Trickett is an intense guy, and I love it. He is always gettting on his guys - but he's just looking for the perfect rep., He's not lying when he says he is intense, but that suits me.

"Maybe that would scare some kids away, but being a Pittsburgh kid, I need someone on me to help me be the best I can be," Gradkowski continued. "My high school coaches are similar in the way they coach me, so I wouldn't have any problem with that style.

Although Gradkowski certainly likes what WVU has to offer, he is not close to making a decision. In fact, with interest in him apparently growing, it might be getting further away.

"I am keeping my options open," he admitted. "I have offers right now from West Virginia, Pitt, Toledo and Miami (OH), and I have visited practices at Michigan State and Michigan, too. I am going up to Penn State this weekend.

Gradkowski plans to go to Penn State's camp in May, and could make one day visits to Pitt, Michgan State and West Virginia during camping season as well. However, with the blossoming interest in him, he doesn't see the recruiting process ending any time soon.

"Earlier in process I wanted to get it over with before my senior season, but way it's going now I don't think that will happen," he noted.

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