Slaton turns heads at Nike Camp

Wisconsin has shown interest in Pennsylvania running back

Define "impressive." According to my handy collegiate dictionary it means: having the power to excite attention, awe, or admiration.

Now, consider Steve Slaton's performance at a recent Nike Camp. The 5-foot-11, 190-pound running back covered the 40-yard dash in 4.34 seconds, ran the shuttle in 4.17 and recorded an amazing 38.5 inches in the vertical leap. An impressive performance to say the least.

Then take a look at the numbers that Slaton put up last season and it becomes obvious that such eye-popping numbers are no aberration. Through 11 games last year Slaton rushed for 1,626 yards, 19 touchdowns and he nearly averaged eight yards per carry. From his cornerback position he had two interceptions and six pass break ups.

The stellar season earned him second team all-state and all-district honors as a junior. He was also all-district as a sophomore and as a freshman.

Although Slaton's high school, Conwell Egan Catholic in Fairless Hills, Pa., competes in a smaller class, the Philadelphia Catholic League - Blue Division, the competition is very good. In the Red division is St. Joe's Prep, which is normally rated as one of the top teams in the nation.

It is that competition, Slaton's athleticism and his stats that have some of the nation's best programs visiting Fairless Hills.

"I can't really remember them all," Slaton said, recounting his visitors. "Virginia, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Georgia Tech, Hofstra, Ohio State, West Virginia, Penn State, Notre Dame, and North Carolina. Iowa is coming in this Wednesday.

"I've pretty much talked to the same schools; West Virginia, North Carolina, Nebraska and Penn State."

Slaton is currently holding offers from North Carolina and West Virginia. "North Carolina was first to offer me about three weeks ago," he said. "I got an offer from West Virginia last week. Boston College said that they're going to offer. I am hoping that Maryland offers. I think that Virginia may be close."

Schools are recruiting Slaton as a running back and a defensive back. In the end, Slaton really prefers to play running back. "Playing running back is something that I love doing," he said. "I have good field vision. I'm fast and I'm hard to take down."

"I'm going to play safety this year," he added. "My jumping ability and speed to react to the ball are my strengths playing defense."

Slaton is wide open at this time, but admits that the teams that have offered are in the driver's seat for his services. His first priority is quality education. Then he will look at how soon he can expect to play.

Slaton said that distance will not be a factor, which is good for Nebraska. The Huskers have called Slaton and visited his school.

"Nebraska is interested in me as a running back," Slaton said. "They told me to keep up the good work and that they like my size for a running back. I like the fact that they like to run the ball. They have a good running tradition. The winters may be kind of cold out there though."

An offer from Nebraska may be enough to get Slaton to hop on a plane and check out the Huskers this fall espite the cold winters. "Yes, it (an offer) could," he said. "I'd be interested in checking them out."

Before speaking to Slaton was just talking to Penn State and Hofstra. He has plans to camp at Penn State and Maryland. He is also planning unofficial visits to Virginia, Virginia Tech, North Carolina and Boston College.

Slaton carries a 2.8 grade-point average. He also bench presses more than 300 pounds and squats more than 600.

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