What kind of player is Penn State getting here in Adam Breneman? And what can fans expect?
NittanyNation turned to one of the people who knows most what Breneman is capable of on the field -- his high school coach at Camp Hill (Pa.) Cedar Cliff -- and asked what separates him as a player, how he first noticed Breneman's ability and when he especially showcased his FBS potential.
TE Adam Breneman, Camp Hill (Pa.) Cedar Cliff, 4 stars, No. 67 in ESPN 150
6-foot-4, 229 pounds
Cedar Cliff coach Jim Cantafio, on what separates Breneman from other players: "Adam is the complete football player. And I think he is so well-prepared for the college level, simply because a lot of the offense we ran in Cedar Cliff, we highlighted the tight end. Adam had 50 or 60 catches as a junior and the same as a sophomore. So Adam's been utilized in so many different ways in high school that he's prepared for the next level. And he told me that, that his adjustment to the college level won't be as difficult.
"He is so athletic and he's like [Aaron] Hernandez -- that kid in New England -- in so many ways because Adam can catch. Adam can run. Adam can block. And he's very intelligent. And when you put those things together, he's a great football player and loves to work out. I know he's been up there two weeks, and Saturday's an optional workout and he's already doing that. He has everything a coach could want in a young man."
When you first knew he would be something special: "I remember when Adam was in eighth grade and I pulled his mom and dad aside and told them I was putting him up to varsity. He was going to play varsity as a freshman. I told him the first couple years, you're going to be a receiver. But by the time you become a junior, you'll be a tight end -- and I told him he'll be one of the top tight ends in the country. I told him you'll have your pick of the crop. And his parents looked at me -- I don't know if they believed me -- and that's the God's honest truth, you can ask them.
"It wasn't hard, believe me, from a coach's standpoint. I've had great ones. I know what they look like and how they work and what their attitude is. And he fit the bill in every category you could possibly mention, so it wasn't a long stretch. I felt comfortable telling his parents he'd be a blue-chip athlete simply because of his work ethic. You knew by being around him he was going to be so talented as a senior in high school. The sad thing is we never saw Adam dominate as a senior [because of a torn ACL]. But I can only imagine what it would have been like. With Andrew Ford, they would've been an unstoppable duo."
When he surprised you or really showcased his ability: "Well, there were so many plays, to be quite honest with you. But the first game in his junior year, he caught a pass against Elizabethtown and it ended up being a 60-yard gain. And, in that 60-yard gain, he probably broke like five or six tackles. It was like bouncing off, bouncing off, bouncing, looked like he was going to go down -- that play right there showed me.
"And, let's see, in his sophomore year, we were playing Daniel Boone in a playoff game, and he had another one of those catches where he broke five or six tackles on his way to a long touchdown run. When you looked at those two plays, you just went, 'Woooow!' They wowed you. They really, really did."