October 6, 2006

Panthers look towards Johnstown

Johnstown Bishop McCort (6' 4" 255) junior Mike Cruz is starting to hear from recruiters. Veteran coach Ken Salem said, "He will probably ended up being the most highly recruited player we have had at our school. He already has offers from Pitt, Virginia and Temple. I would not be surprised if he had 10 more offers within the next few weeks."

Mike Cruz and his coach were both in Pittsburgh last week to watch the Panthers beat Temple. Cruz said, "I have been to two other Pitt games. I went to the Michigan State game earlier this year and I went to a game last fall with Scott Corson who is a freshman at Pitt this year."

In addition to watching Pitt Coach Salem attended the Pitt-Toledo game to watch one of his former players Andrew Hawkins who plays wide receiver for the Rockets. Coach Salem said, "Unfortunately one of the Pitt defensive backs laid him out on one play."

Cruz attended the Pitt summer camp so he is also familiar with the practice facilities at the UPMC complex.

Coach Salem told the Pantherlair, "Mike has great hands and athleticism. He would make a great tight end in college as long as he does he does not out grow the position."

Cruz said, "I play tight end, defensive end and I am the long snapper on our punt team. In college I would like to play tight end and I also would like to be a long snapper. Pass catching is probably my strong point right now. "

Cruz has a brother, Jose, who is a freshman tight end at the University of Akron. Cruz said, "It looks like he will take a redshirt this year."

Mike Cruz also plays basketball for Bishop McCort.

This fall the Bishop McCort Crushers are 4-1. This weekend they play at Westmont-Hilltop (3-2) in a District 6 AA contest. The game will be played at 1:00 Pm on Saturday. The following weekend the will step up in classification to play unbeaten Johnstown (5-0). The Trojans play at the AAA level and feature running back Antwuan Reed who also has an offer from Pitt.

Pitt has landed two players from the City of Johnstown the past two years in sophomore LaRod Stephens-Howling and Scott Corson. The Pitt coaching staff would like to land a couple of more in Mike Cruz and Antwuan Reed.

Jim Snyder can be contacted at jrsnyder04@comcast.net.

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