Camps In Gear

Summer football camps at colleges and universities across the nation are getting ready to swing into high gear, and the next three weeks will be critical for players hoping to attract offers from their schools of interest. One of those players in that situation will be visiting West Virginia soon, but isn't nervous about what the future holds.

Penn Trafford High School's Tim Cortazzo, who had 40 catches for 750 yards and nine scores at his wide receiver spot as a junior, is one of the players who figures to get offers during the June camping season. He already has offers from a handful of schools, but wants to "keep his options open".

"Akron, Temple and New Hampshire have offered me, but there are several other schools showing a lot of interest," said the easy-going Cortazzo. "West Virginia, Pitt, Iowa, Northwestern, Michigan State and Rutgers have all been talking to me. I'm going down to West Virginia's camp on June 11th, and I plan on going to Northwestern, Michigan State, Pitt and Iowa for their camps as well."

Cortazzo, like many players, will likely get offers once he attends camp. He believes that schools want to see reciprocal interest before making an offer.

"I've told West Virginia's coaches that I would be very interested in playing there, and it seems like if I go down to the camp and do well they might offer. I think they want to see me at camp, and that if I come to camp they will offer. I think it's kind of a reassuring thing for them -- that they get another chance to see what they saw on film. That's the way I'm looking at it."

Although Cortazzo will certainly be doing everything in his power to get offers from the schools he visits, he won't tie himself up in knots worrying about his performance.

"I don't feel any pressure to perform at camp or anything like that," he said definitively. "My focus is on my senior year right now. Offers are either meant to be or not, and I don't have any control over it, so I can't let that bother me. I just have to do what I do."

Cortazzo, who visited West Virginia for the Louisville game last year, has already had a busy spring. He checked out Akron, Temple, Pitt and WVU during those schools' spring sessions. The camp visit to West Virginia, however, will be his first for that sort of event at the state's flagship institution.

"I do like West Virginia, because of the number of receivers they use," he noted. "The more chances you have to fit in on the offense, the more opportunities you have to play."

Cortazzo also participated in the Metro-Index camp earlier this spring, and put up improved numbers from his junior year. Standing 6-1 and weighing in at 185 pounds, the rising senior ripped off a 4.39 40-yard dash and a 3.91 shuttle. In addition to those numbers, the heady wideout also displays strengths in the mental side of the game.

"I think my route running and how well I know the game are some of the things I'm best at," the Pittsburgh-area star said. "I am always in the right place at the right time. I also read defenses well, and can adjust my routes to the coverage."

Cortazzo is being recruited as a receiver by all the schools on his list except Iowa, which is looking at him as a defensive back. With most of his schools of interest focusing on his work as a wide receiver, he is working to improve himself in that play phase.

"I want to get upfield more," he said of his goals for this year. "I improved on that between my sophomore and junior years, and I want to keep getting better there. Really, I want to work on everything – you can always improve in all areas."

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