Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Paterno helped Mornhinweg pick Penn State

St. Joseph's Prep quarterback Skyler Mornhinweg will play for Penn State, according to a source. The 6-foot-3, 215-pound senior orginially gave a verbal committment to Stanford as a sophomore but opted out when coach Jim Harbaugh took the 49ers job. Tennessee, Alabama and Illinois were the other leading candidates.

Paterno helped Mornhinweg pick Penn State

St. Joseph´s Prep quarterback Skyler Mornhinweg will commit to Penn State. (Sharon Gekoski-Kimmel/Staff Photographer)
St. Joseph's Prep quarterback Skyler Mornhinweg will commit to Penn State. (Sharon Gekoski-Kimmel/Staff Photographer)

Skyler Mornhinweg, looking for a new college home after Jim Harbaugh left Stanford and took over the San Francisco 49ers, was won over by the Penn State coaching staff in a one-and-a-half day unofficial visit to State College last month.

Mornhinweg, a 6-foot-3, 215-pound senior quarterback at St. Joseph’s Prep, orally committed to the Nittany Lions in a media conference call Tuesday.

Joined by his father, Marty, the offensive coordinator for the Eagles, he met in June with head coach Joe Paterno, QBs coach Jay Paterno, offensive coordinator Galen Hall, and recruiting coordinator Ron Vanderlinden.

“It’s a great football tradition,” the 17-year-old said. “It’s a very old-school mentality. Also, the academics are great."

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Mornhinweg is a three-year starter, playing QB and free safety for the Hawks the last two years. He has thrown for 3,000-plus yards and 32 touchdowns in his high school career.

“He is the most talented quarterback I’ve ever coached,” second-year Prep boss Gabe Infante said. “He is a prolific passer, probably one of the greatest high school passers I’ve seen in my career. He’s a highly respected member of our program, extremely well-liked in our community. He’s a natural-born leader and an incredible competitor.”

Mornhinweg, who passed for 1,546 yards and 13 scores last season, said he attended a Penn State game with his mother, Lindsay. “I got to see the fans first-hand; it was a great thing to be a part of.”

Joe Paterno will turn 85 in December. “I’m just real excited to play for one of the great coaches in the history of the game, “ Mornhinweg said. “I’m sure Penn State will operate the same way for years to come.”


Of de-committing from Stanford, he said, “I simply stepped back and re-evaluated things. I’m really glad that I got to take a step back and look at Penn State.”

Mornhinweg also took unofficial visits to Tennessee and Alabama. Miami, Illinois, and Florida State were also in the running for his services.

Was the QB tempted to choose a program that passes the ball more? “I have tremendous confidence in the (Penn State) coaches, “he said. “Me and my dad got to watch a lot of film on them. We’re real happy with the way they run their offense.”

The Nittany Lions landed another high-profile recruit from Southeastern Pennsylvania when J.J. Denman, a 6-6, 305-pound offensive tackle from Pennsbury, committed in May.

-Rick O’Brien

About this blog
Joe Juliano has been a staff writer for The Inquirer for 20 years, covering college sports, golf and the Penn Relays.

Joining Joe this season will be John Stuetz, an intern for The Inquirer and senior at Penn State majoring in print journalism and marketing. This is John's third season covering the Penn State beat. He previously covered the Nittany Lions for the Daily Collegian, the university's student newspaper. A native of Glenside, Montgomery County, John graduated from Cheltenham High School.

For Joe, this will be his fifth season on the paper's Penn State beat. He previously covered the Nittany Lions for United Press International from 1976 to 1984.

Reach Joe at jjuliano@phillynews.com.

Joe Juliano Inquirer Staff Writer
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