Huge upside for Pierre-Paul

Even though he's only played two full seasons of football, College of the Canyons DE Jason Pierre-Paul (6-5, 240) is widely considered one of the top edge-rushers in the country. He's got the offers to prove it and he spoke with recently about recruiting and what ultimately led him to try out for the football team his senior year of high school.

"I was a basketball player until my senior year and then I broke my leg when I jumped and I was like 'I'm gonna play football instead'," Pierre-Paul told recently. "So I really only played one year of high school football and then I played last year at Canyons."

As a freshman, Pierre-Paul dominated the edge and earned First Team All-American honors when he posted 49 tackles, 14 sacks, an amazing 19 tackles-for-loss, one interception, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery.

"Actually it was pretty easy for me," Pierre-Paul said without a hint of egotism. "I just rushed the quarterback and used my speed. This year I know I'm gonna have to have more moves and stuff like that so that's what I'm working on this year and then getting better technique so I can hold up better against the run."

Pierre-Paul runs well for a man his size, posting 4.55 forty times pretty consistently, but he knows he needs to get stronger.

"I bench 295 right now, but I'm really focused on getting stronger so I've been hitting the weight-room a lot," Pierre-Paul noted. "If I'm stronger, that's one less advantage blockers will have on me and I'll be able to dictate things to them."

On the recruiting front, Pierre-Paul has over 20 offers, but he's honed in on the Sunshine State and the offers from those schools as well as a couple of other programs from across the country.

"I'm originally from Florida (Deerfield), so I'm looking at those schools down there," Pierre-Paul said. "Florida, Florida State, UCF, South Florida, FIU, Auburn, Nebraska, Virginia Tech and Nebraska are the ones that have offered that I'm looking at.

"I talked to the Miami head coach (Randy Shannon) and he said they liked me a lot, but they haven't offered me yet. I'm still very interested in them though."

Pierre-Paul will finish his two-year degree in May of 2009 and he'll have three years to play two wherever he ends up.

We'll continue to track the progress of this outstanding defender and update things as they change.

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