- Jared Shanker, ESPN Staff Writer
PITTSBURGH -- Considering the era, Troy Apke (Pittsburgh/Mt. Lebanon) breaks the mold at wide receiver. Playing a position that has bred some of the game’s flashiest players of the last decade, Apke is humble to a fault.
Asked how he felt about his offer from Pittsburgh this summer, he said “I was happy.”
What about his parents, who both were student-athletes at Pitt? “They were happy.”
Mt. Lebanon coach Mike Melnyk is glad Apke’s success has not altered his mindset, although he would like to see his star receiver break out of his shell a little more.
His game certainly doesn’t match his quiet personality. Following a sophomore season in which he caught only nine passes, Apke caught 54 passes for 1,048 yards and 13 scores during his jurnior season playing in a more diverse offense as opposed to the run-heavy scheme under the previous coach.
Pitt, where his dad was a linebacker and his mother a distance runner, offered him following a breakout performance at its camp. Melnyk said Apke ran a 4.4 at the camp.
“He’s extremely fast,” Melnyk said. “I’ve never coached a kid that has the acceleration he does. He just kicks it into another gear -- and he’s got good genes.”
Bowling Green and Toledo have also extended offers to the 6-foot-2, 185-pound Apke, who Melnyk still considers as “under the radar.”
Apke visited Pitt for a junior day at the beginning of the February and was impressed. The coaches took the visitors to a basketball game, where the Pitt students gave the football prospects a standing ovation.
“They walked us through the student section,” he said, “and they clapped for us.”
Apke could visit Penn State on Feb. 23 for its junior day.
455dTom Luginbill and Craig Haubert