Mornhinweg switches commitment from Penn State to Florida

started forthree years under center at the Prep.
started forthree years under center at the Prep. (QB Skyler Mornhinweg)
Posted: January 31, 2012

Two days before national signing day, St. Joseph's Prep quarterback Skyler Mornhinweg broke his silence and announced his commitment to play at the University of Florida.

The 6-foot-3, 205-pound senior, who had committed to Penn State in July, said his visit to Gainesville and "a great plan" outlined by Gators head coach Will Muschamp and recently hired offensive coordinator Brent Pease were key factors in his decision.

"I had an opportunity to meet the players. They're a great group of guys, and I was incredibly impressed with coach Muschamp and coach Pease," Mornhinweg said Monday night.

The three-year starter under center for the Hawks, expected to sign a letter of intent Wednesday to play for the Gators, reconsidered his Penn State commitment after a child sex-abuse scandal rocked the university in November.

"I liked Penn State very much," he said. "It was a privilege to be recruited by Joe Paterno and Ron Vanderlinden. But I think there are going to be some dramatic changes there."

With about a dozen other recruits, Mornhinweg met with new Nittany Lions boss Bill O'Brien, currently the offensive coordinator for the New England Patriots, on Jan. 15.

"I think he's a great coach, and I'm sure he'll have success at Penn State," he said. "I wish him and the team the best. I just thought Florida was the best place for me."

Pease and Mornhinweg's father, Marty, the Eagles offensive coordinator, both played quarterback at the University of Montana.

"Coach Pease wanted to handpick his quarterback, have a say in who his quarterback was going to be," St. Joseph's Prep coach Gabe Infante said. "He wanted Skyler to be his guy.

"As a quarterback, that's a great thing to have. It's important that the guy you're playing for is in your corner. You feel like he's invested in your development, and he'll speak up for you."

Florida's roster includes a pair of four-star QBs from the Class of 2011: Jacoby Brissett and Jeff Driskel. Both saw time last season. Bob Lichtenfels, of Scout.com, called the 6-4, 235-pound Driskel a "righthanded Tim Tebow."

"I'm just going to go in there and compete, try to get better every day," Mornhinweg said. "We'll see what happens."

The 18-year-old, cerebral and levelheaded, was a four-year starter at free safety for the Hawks.

"I'm looking forward to competing in the [Southeastern Conference]," he said. "It's a great conference with a lot of strong teams. It brings out the best in all the players."

Joining him at Florida will be Archbishop Wood's Colin Thompson, a 6-5, 255-pound tight end who helped the Vikings claim the PIAA Class AAA state title last season.


Contact staff writer Rick O'Brien at 610-313-8019, robrien@phillynews.com, or @ozoneinq on Twitter. Read his blog, "The O'Zone," at www.philly.com/ozone

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