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Friday, February 15, 2013
Two offers, B1G interest for ATH Amara

By Jared Shanker

A receiver his entire life, Patrick Amara was asked to play both sides of the ball his junior season at Philadelphia West Catholic to firm up a shaky defensive backfield. The move not only paid dividends for West Catholic but for Amara as well.

The 6-foot-2, 171-pound athlete has two offers, picking up his second on Wednesday when UMass let him know he had a scholarship.

“UMass said they like me at athlete, but it doesn’t matter to me,” Amara said. “[UMass] said ‘You’re a great player and we offered you.’ ”

UMass has sent out several offers to Philadelphia prospects this week, and Amara said that could make a difference by the time he makes a decision. If there is a movement from Philadelphia players to go up to UMass, a second-year FBS program, it could make the Minutemen all the more appealing.

Bowling Green was the first to offer Amara, and he could visit the Falcons this weekend.

“They like my versatility and length and that I’m a ball hawk,” Amara said. “I play both sides of the ball and can contribute.”

Among other teams interested, Pittsburgh looks to be closest to offering Amara next. He was at Pitt for a junior day Feb. 2 and talked with the staff about an offer. He also talks to recruiting assistant Dann Kabala regularly.

The Panthers also told Amara they like his ball skills, but his highlight tape just needs to go up the ladder to coach Paul Chryst before an offer.

“[Kabala] said they’re high on me and love what they see,” Amara said. “... When we were on the phone he told me they’re very close to offering. They just need to talk about it, but it just has to go through the head coach.”

Penn State recruited Curtis Drake out of West Catholic several years ago and began recruiting ESPN 150 running back David Williams out of the school before he transferred. Assistant coach Ron Vanderlinden has been through the school this winter to recruit Amara.

“He told me they’re trying to get out and get the top-notch kids, and I can fit that role,” he said. “He said it’ll be a little longer [evaluation] because they have to find the right guys, but they’re interested in me.”

Michigan State picked up a 2013 recruit from eastern Pennsylvania in the last recruiting cycle, and the Spartans are looking at Amara, as well. Assistant coach Dave Warner visited Amara at his school recently.

“We got a real good relationship since he came. Ever since then we’ve been talking on the phone or Facebook,” Amara said. “He’s telling me more about Michigan State and how their recruiting process is a little longer. They want to offer, but they take a little longer, and I might see one this spring.”