Shyquawn Pullium isn't one of the most highly-rated high school football prospects in the class of 2010 ... unless you talk to the coaches that went up against him, like Homer DeLattre.
"We played against Drew Astorino. He didn't get many scholarship offers, but he's starting [at Penn State],'' DeLattre, the former Moshannon Valley quarterback and Glendale assistant coach who is now the head coach at Corry. "I'd say he's every bit as good or better than Drew. By far, he's the best player we have played against.
"He's definitely worth a Division I scholarship.''
Penn State apparently thought so, too. The Nittany Lions offered the rangy, 6-foot-1, 169-pound Erie Cathedral Prep defensive back and received his verbal commitment earlier this week, according to multiple internet reports.
Attempts by the Mirror to reach Pullium and his coach, Mike Mischler, on Wednesday were unsuccessful.
With less than a week to go until letter-of-intent day on Feb. 3, Pullium is the 19th member of Penn State's 2010 recruiting class. He's the only one of those projected to play in the secondary.
Pullium is ranked the No. 31 player in Pennsylvania by Rivals.com. He was only the 122nd-rated cornerback in the country at the time of his commitment according to Scout.com.
However, Pullium was selected first-team all-state and named District 10 player of the year after leading the Ramblers to an 11-3 record and a spot in the PIAA Class AAA quarterfinals. Pitt and Maryland both were confirmed to have made scholarship offers to Pullium, and Cincinnati and Toledo did too, according to some sources.
DeLattre said UConn also offered Pullium the night of Corry's game against the Ramblers. In that game, Pullium rushed for a season-high 202 yards and four touchdowns, passed for 113 yards and two scores, picked off a pass and broke up a pass.
"He played both cornerback and safety,'' DeLattre said. "We had a [pass] play down the sideline. We was at free safety. He came all the way over and picked it off. He jumped at the numbers and came down right before the sideline.''
Pullium rushed for 1,507 yards and 22 touchdowns and passed for 1,112 yards and 15 TDs. His defensive statistics - 33 tackles, three interceptions, eight pass breakups and a fumble recovery - weren't as gaudy, but there was reason for that.
"We run a spread offense, and we didn't look his way very often. He's a shut-down guy,'' DeLattre said. "He's a great strider. He covers a lot of ground. He's got pretty good technique. He can press over, he has great closing speed and he's a good tackler.''
There is some question as to whether Pullium will be able to enroll at Penn State this year, and it's been speculated that he may have to spend a year in prep school. Kiski Prep, where Curtis Enis and Daryll Clark attended, has been mentioned as a possible destination for Pullium for the 2010-11 school year.
The Nittany Lions are still looking to reel in one more recruit in this class. Georgia defensive tackle Mike Thornton is down to Penn State, Georgia and Kentucky. He isn't expected to make an announcement until signing day.
USC tried to get involved with Thornton late, but, according to reports, Thornton will not visit the Trojans.