Prospect Watch: Austin Whipple
By Kevin Gorman
Published: Sunday, Dec. 23, 2012, 12:01 a.m.
6-foot-2, 200 pounds, QB, Pine-Richland/Salisbury School
While watching tape of his senior season at Pine-Richland and his final game at Salisbury (Conn.) School, Austin Whipple was amazed at the difference in his comfort level at quarterback.
In 10 post-graduate games at Salisbury, he was 74 of 136 for 1,215 yards with 12 touchdowns and was drawing interest from Ivy League schools such as Brown, Dartmouth and Penn.
“I think it's a complete 180,” Whipple said. “I had only played 10 games in high school. Having the opportunity to play 10 more games was huge.”
Whipple's friends were amazed to learn that he has accepted an offer to play at Penn State as a preferred walk-on. He starts classes at the University Park campus Jan. 5 and will be eligible to participate in spring drills.
“I think a lot of people are kind of stunned because we lost touch and people don't follow prep schools,” Whipple said, “so when they found out I was going to Penn State they didn't think I was playing football.”
Whipple followed his father, former Steelers quarterback coach Mark Whipple, to coaching stops in Philadelphia and Miami. He spent two seasons as a backup at Fort Lauderdale powerhouse St. Thomas Aquinas before moving back to Pine-Richland in 2011.
Whipple wasted no time winning the starting job, impressing recently retired Rams coach Clair Altemus with his work ethic in the weight room and by quickly grasping the offense. As a senior, Whipple completed 123 of 213 passes for 1,526 yards and 16 touchdowns.
“He's a natural leader,” Altemus said. “Austin had all the intangibles. The biggest one was leadership. For a guy to leave and immediately have the other kids follow him was impressive. Austin's a pretty good ballplayer. I think he'll do good at Penn State.”
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