Preferred Status

"Under the radar" has been used to describe any number of college prospects that, for one reason or another, don't get a great deal of recruiting attention, and that term certainly applies to a Louisville high schooler that has visited and impressed at two Big East schools during the summer camp season.

St. Xavier (Louisville, Ky.) wide reciever Daniel Passafiume is one of the great number of late-blooming high school players that made their marks at summer camps. Passafiume, a wide receiver with good technical skills and excellent hands, impressed coaches at both Louisville and West Virginia during their summer sessions. WVU, in particular, was quite impressed with Passafiume's effort and skill level.

"Right now, the haven't offered me, but they said they would love to have me there," Passafiume said of West Virginia. "[Wide receiver coach] Butch Jones came up to me after the camp and told me he would love to coach me there."

Passafiume, who has played wide receiver for just one year, is still learning the ins and outs of the position, but his level of effort, along with his dedication to listening and learning, marked him quickly as a player to watch.

"I did really well at West Virginia's camp," the 5-11, 170-pound receiver said. "I think I'm just starting to get noticed, because I played quarterback up until last year. Just playing wide receiver for one year has probably affected my recruiting some.

"I'm just trying to put myself out there. Coach Rodriguez said WVU will keep an eye on me and bring me up on an official visit. It's possible they might have a scholarship to offer, or, if I walk-on, I think I would have a good chance to get one after I spent a year there."

Another facet of Passafiume's game that makes him an even more attractive recruiting target is his ability to hold. Similar to his experience at receiver, he only began holding a year ago, but quickly took to the task.

"WVU threw a twist at me, because I had to hold for a left-footed kicker at their camp," he said. "I had never done that before, but I did well. I didn't drop any, even though a couple of the snaps were up around my ear and behind me. The coaches were trying to put pressure on me too, but I think I did well.

"Something about holding just clicked for me," he continued. "As a freshman and a sophomore, I played quarterback, and I held during a couple of games as a freshman. I didn't do it as a sophomore, though, and then last year I told my coaches I would like to try it again. It's been good since then."

With at least two BCS schools watching him, Passafiume has set goals for himself to ensure their attention continues.

"I just have to get bigger," he said. "Obviously everything needs to get worked on, but I'm not as big as I'd like to be. I have good feet, but I want to improve my breakaway speed. I think I can get to around 180 pounds before I go to college."

While Passafiume has set those personal improvement goals for himself, he doesn't mention catching a certain number of passes or scoring so many TDs. Those types of things are outside the framework of his team.

"My high school team is not about the individual, it's about the team. You have to be a phenom like Vic to really get noticed," he said.

'Vic', of course, is running back Victor Anderson, who has already committed to WVU. Passafiume admits that his good friend's commitment could weigh on his college choice.

"Having Vic at WVU plays into the decision," he said. "He is like family to me, and going to college together would be good."


Passafiume may attend camp at Purdue in July, but that will complete his summer football trips. He is playing basketball over the summer to help with his footwork.

"Football is my game, but basketball helps me with my feet," he explained. I have some friends that I play basketball with a lot."

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While WVU and Louisville remain as intriguing walk-on options, Passafiume admits that an offer from a mid-major could change his thinking.

"If I got an offer from a MAC school, that could be a tough decision. I would have to look at that."

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Passafiume is considering a coaching major, among other fields of study. He noted that West Virginia would be a good fit if that proves to be his choice of majors in college.

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