Gorman: PSU a possibility for NA wideout Garrity
When Gregg Garrity became the first 1,000-yard receiver in North Allegheny history Friday, he didn't bother trying to hold it over his father's head.
Not when the elder Garrity, a North Allegheny alum, caught the winning touchdown for Penn State in the 1983 Sugar Bowl and was on the cover of Sports Illustrated celebrating the national championship.
Not when the elder Garrity was a fifth-round draft choice of the Steelers and played eight seasons in the NFL, six with the Eagles.
“I think he might have the upper hand, not only with the national championship but playing in the NFL,” said the younger Garrity, who has 56 catches for 1,107 yards and 16 touchdowns this season. “I might have a little advantage in high school football, but overall he's got me beat.”
While Garrity is carving his own identity as the leading receiver for the three-time defending WPIAL Class AAAA champions, he's contemplating following in his father's footsteps.
Where the father went to Penn State as a walk-on, the son called joining the Nittany Lions in the same fashion his “No. 1 choice.”
“I've had the time of my life up there. Just being a true Penn State fan, I think it's the best fan base in the country,” said Garrity, a potential slot receiver in Bill O'Brien's offense. “I compare myself to a Wes Welker type. That's really what I am at NA. I'm not a deep threat as much as I am an underneath type. I could definitely see myself playing slot.”
The 5-foot-11, 160-pound Garrity runs the 40-yard dash in the 4.6-second range, but has good quickness, runs precise routes and learned from his father how to get separation from defenders.
“I'm really thankful for that because he was able to coach me,” Garrity said. “He wasn't a big guy, either. He taught me everything I know about getting open, about playing with a defensive back's mind, making him think you're going to go one way and go the other and changing up speeds on him.”
Garrity's dream is to play Division I football, and he believes he could be a big contributor at a I-AA school. But he has yet to receive any scholarship offers, and Penn State is showing interest.
“I'm obviously disappointed that happened (with the Sandusky scandal and NCAA sanctions), but I'm proud of what they overcame,” he said. “I'm proud to be a Penn State fan. They had a great year and I think they have a great future.”
One that could include another Gregg Garrity.