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Son of a Football Man: Skyler Mornhinweg Picks Penn State

Submitted by on July 19, 20114 Comments

Remember how, after Pat Devlin’s departure, Penn State was pretty screwed because he was the only scholarship QB they’d signed between 2006 and 2008?

Well, I’m sure the coaching staff does, because they’ve made sure to avoid that same dilemma, securing the commitment of Philadelphia’s own Skyler Mornhinweg.

It's Official - Philadelphia (Pa.) St. Joesph's QB Skyler Mornhinweg will be a #PennState #NittanyLion
Image credit: MaxPreps
If that last name sounds familiar, it probably is. Skyler’s dad is Marty Mornhinweg, the current offensive coordinator of the Philadelphia Eagles, and former head coach of the Detroit Lions.

Skyler–sorry, but I can only type out that last name so many times–had committed to Jim Harbaugh and Stanford more than two years ago, when he was a rising sophomore (which probably tells you something about the kid, from both an academic and football perspective). After Harbaugh left for the NFL, taking the job as head coach of the San Francisco 49ers, Skyler decommitted to explore his options, and Penn State quickly became a leader.

If Mornhinweg isn’t a name you’d become accustomed with over the past few months, don’t feel bad. He’s handled his recruitment pretty quietly, and lacks the stars that makes any player stand out. Rivals grades him as the #29 player in Pennsylvania, and unranked among quarterbacks, rating Skyler as a 3-star prospect. Scout also grants 3 stars to Mornhinweg, listing him as the #44 QB in the class of 2012. ESPN’s slightly more positive, rating him as the #16 QB in the class, awarding the elusive fourth star, and grading him as an 80, which would make him the second highest graded commit to the Nittany Lions thusfar.

But lest you feel that Penn State is taking another flyer on some unknown kid, worry not: Skyler’s offer sheet is pretty impressive. He picked Penn State over national powers like Alabama and Tennessee, and from schools like Illinois and Stanford–who still pursued Mornhinweg. Other interest had come from Northwestern, Miami, Notre Dame, Wisconsin, Florida State, and Arkansas. The 6’3, 215-pound Mornhinweg doesn’t appear to be a pure pocket passer–in fact, he was a highly heralded safety for his St. Joseph’s Prep squad last year, named to the Philadelphia Inquirer’s all-Southeast PA team at the position. But he’s no slouch at QB, either, having thrown for over 3100 yards and 31 touchdowns the past two years, en route to a first-team all-Catholic League Class AAAA selection in 2010, even on a team that finished just 4-7.

He’s got the intangibles down, too:

It’s his uncanny ability to win games in pressure situations that sets [Mornhinweg] apart. He directed Prep to four fourth-quarter comebacks his sophomore year and two fourth-quarter comebacks his junior season. Nothing phases him.

Following the de-commitment of Jamil Pollard (or perhaps a pulled scholarship from JoePa and crew), there’s no net change on the size of the Penn State Class of 2012; it remains steady at 11 verbal commitments. But it’s also starting to become a more well-rounded crew, after stocking up early on linemen, from both sides of the ball. And it’s good for the staff to avoid the chaos that occurs when you only have 1 scholarship quarterback on the roster–and after the trying offseason when every one but McGloin was linked to transfer rumors, Mornhinweg’s commitment is a welcome sight, if not one that serves an immediate need. Though this may weaken Penn State’s chances to get 5-star QB prospect Devin Fuller, I’m going to stick by the old adage: a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.

Okay, now that I’ve gotten through that whole article without addressing it: Marty, what the hell were you thinking naming the kid Skyler? And this coming from the same guy who won the coin toss in overtime… and elected to kick. I think we can all agree, the elder Mornhinweg has made some puzzling decisions. But I’m going to go out on a limb, and suggest that Skyler Mornhinweg is the best quarterback ever named Skyler. At the very least, I’m pretty sure he’s better than Minnie Driver, who played Skyler in Good Will Hunting.

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