December 1, 2006

Stefanik favors the Flashes

Harrison City, Pa., linebacker Paul Stefanik will make an official visit to Kent State this weekend. The 6-foot-1, 217-pounder was in Kent recently to watch a practice and get a feel for what the program has to offer.

"I was up there about a week ago for practice," Stefanik said. "It was a light practice because they were getting ready to play Ball State. It seemed real organized and they were ready to go."

Stefanik was pleased with everything he saw out of the Golden Flashes. During his official visit this weekend he hopes to learn more about campus life. If everything goes the way he thinks it will, Kent State could become his future home.

"I really like it there," he said. "They are telling me that I could play as a freshman. That place is tops on my list right now. They are going to play Ohio State next year; I can't pass that up."

Kent State isn't without challengers. Stefanik has an offer from Conference USA member Marshall and another from future Mid-American Conference foe, Temple. He likes what the Thundering Herd does on the field, but he isn't so sure about living in Huntington, W.V. He'll make an official visit to Marshall on Dec. 15.

"With Marshall, it's pretty much the location," Stefanik said. "I could go down there on an official visit and love it and maybe commit; you never know."

There's also BCS conference school that could jump into the mix, further complicating the process for Stefanik.

"UCLA is coming on hard," he said. "They want me to come out and take an official visit. They are going to offer, I'm not sure when, but they will. That will be a tough decision. I have cousins that live about seven miles from campus, so it's like I won't even leave home.

"I'm not sure I can pass that up; that's PAC-10 football. I'm not sure how long it would take me to play, but I'd have to look at it."

As a senior Stefanik helped Penn Trafford reach the state playoffs. He recorded 109 tackles, 20 tackles for a loss, 15 sacks, one interception and scored two touchdowns on fumble recoveries.

"I think it's my speed," he said about the reason for his success. "I can run down the scat backs. I have a lot of strength too; I can manhandle guards."

Stefanik just might be underestimating his strength. He spent last summer working out with U.S. Strongman Steve Kirit. Following his training he placed fifth in the Kurt Angle Extreme Strength Competition in Monroeville, Pa.

"That was against grown men," Stefanik said.

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