Blue Chip Chat with John Petrishen, Central Catholic

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The scoop

Petrishen is considered one of the top defensive backs in the WPIAL. He was a starter last year, but missed four midseason games because of fractured ribs and a punctured leg. But Petrishen came back and helped Central Catholic win the WPIAL Class AAAA title. Petrishen has excellent speed and said he ran the 40-yard dash between 4.4 and 4.5 seconds this summer. He should play a bigger role on offense as a receiver. Petrishen lives in Lower Burrell and drives about an hour to school every day. He also was a starting guard on the Central Catholic basketball team last year.

College talk

Petrishen's college stock rose considerably in the offseason. He has 30 scholarship offers from Division I-A and I-AA colleges, and his top three schools are Pitt, Wake Forest and Virginia. "Penn State and Northwestern have told me I'm the No. 1 safety on their board, but they haven't offered yet," Petrishen said. "Every day, I seem to like a different one of my top three. I really like all three, but I'm really confused about it, too."

Our questions, his answers

Did you really think you would get recruited this much? I really think I got a lot bigger and stronger this offseason and I think bigger schools saw that. I didn't think I would get big offers off my film of last year because of the injury. I knew I would either have to do well in games this year to get the big offers or do really well at camps in the offseason. So I went to [Pitt and Penn State] camps and ran really well and covered really well. That's when schools started to pull the trigger on me.

Your team should be very good again, but didn't you lose a lot of key players? We did lose a lot of key players and some people say how are you going to be good? We had a lot of good underclassmen last year and a lot of kids who worked their butts off at practice, but just didn't see the field. I think we can go far again.

Give me an area that is key for this team to be good? Offensive line, hands down.

Give me three words to describe you as a player? I would say rangy, deceptive -- because most people think I'm slow -- and versatile.

You drive an hour to school. Why do you come here? It's 100 percent worth it. It's probably the best decision I ever made. I love Burrell. I loved my teachers, friends, coaches, everything at Burrell. But my family and I felt like if I really want to play college football and do things after high school, I had to come to Central. It was the best opportunity for me athletically and academically.

And finally...

People might be surprised to know ... I love to sing, but I'm horrible at it. Wait, I have a better one. People would be surprised to know that even though I go Central Catholic and I have to wear a tie to school every day, I cannot tie a tie.

Well then who ties it? At the beginning of the school year, my Dad [John] ties maybe 30 of my ties. I just loosen them and put them on every morning.

What is a high school kid doing with 30 ties? Hey, you have to have a lot for different outfits, right?

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