January 9, 2007

Crusher works hard to rehab injury

We caught up with Johnstown Bishop McCort junior Mike Cruz (6' 4" 255) who said, "I tore my ACL in the playoffs. I played the last two playoff games with it torn. I had surgery last month (December 13th) on my left knee. I am working very hard in rehab. They tell me because my leg is so muscular I am ahead of schedule. I am where a normal person would be at two months. Some days it does not hurt at all. Other days it bothers me. I am in physical therapy three days a week. I am working hard to get back on the field."

It is still early in the process but Mike Cruz already has offers from Pitt, Akron, Temple and Virginia. Bishop McCort head coach Ken Salem told the Pantherlair, "Some of the college coaches are telling me he could be one of the most heavily recruited tight ends on the East Coast this year."

Cruz said, "Pitt is definitely my favorite. They are at the top of my list. I love it there. I want everyone to know they are my choice. I can't wait to commit. I want to be able to focus on my senior season without any distractions."

Cruz made a couple of trips to Pittsburgh this past fall to see the Panthers play.

This past season Mike Cruz helped the Johnstown Bishop McCort to an 11-1 record. The Crushers lost in three overtimes in the opener to Bedford by a score of 25-24. The Crushers the ripped off 11 win in a row. In the run they beat Johnstown and Tyrone. They also got revenge for their opening loss by beating Bedford 27-7 in a District playoff game. The Crushers then lost a PIAA Class AA state quarterfinal game to Wilmington by a score of 13-6.

Cruz caught 21 passes for 206 yards and 3 touchdowns this year. On defense he had 40 tackles including 6 sacks. He also returned an interception for a touchdown. He was first team all-area selection as a junior.

Cruz can bench-press 280 pounds and has a maximum squat of 470 pounds.

Pitt already has a verbal commitment from the Johnstown area for the Class of 2008. All-purpose back Antwuan Reed from Greater Johnstown High School has already said, "Pitt is it!"

Pitt also has a couple of players on the roster from the Johnstown area in sophomore LaRod Stephens and freshman Scott Corson.

Mike Cruz's brother, Jose Cruz, was a redshirt freshman this year for the University of Akron.

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