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High School Sports

Norwin senior Shanahan decides to focus on football

Paul Schofield
| Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2007

Before the football season, Norwin's Mike Shanahan informed college coaches recruiting him to play football that he planned to play basketball.

Shanahan spurned more than 16 football offers and narrowed his basketball choices to Duquesne, Akron, Bucknell, Vermont and Air Force.

Duquesne and Akron are still potential basketball spots, but Shanahan is looking in another direction now. He said football is his future.

Pitt and West Virginia have made offers, and Penn State, which hasn't made an official offer, is showing more interest after Shanahan recorded impressive offensive statistics this season.

Shanahan caught 35 passes for 709 yards and 11 touchdowns. He had a five-touchdown game against Gateway this season. The result was that Shanahan asked Norwin football coach Dan Conwell to call college coaches and tell them he has reconsidered his earlier decision.

West Virginia coach Rich Rodriguez and recruiting coordinator Tony Gibson were at the Norwin/Woodland Hills game to watch Shanahan and Tyler Urban.

"That showed me a lot," Shanahan said. "They showed me that they really wanted me. That made an impression on me.

"I had a lot of fun this season, and I felt I should open up the recruiting process again and explore my options in football again. I'm happy with my options."

Previously, Shanahan turned down football offers from Stanford, Georgia Tech and Vanderbilt. He said some schools that offered early haven't re-entered the process.

He hasn't made any official trips, but he is planning to take a few in the next couple of weeks.

The 6-foot-6 senior is sidelined for basketball with a fractured pinky finger on his right hand, but he hopes to be back soon. He injured the finger in a WPIAL Class AAAA quarterfinal loss to McKeesport.

Despite the setback, Shanahan is eager to get back on the floor to help his team defend the Section 1-AAAA title. He averaged 18 points, 9 rebounds and 7 assists per game as a junior.

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