PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Skyler Mornhinweg, a high school quarterback who verbally committed to Penn State, will instead sign a letter of intent on Wednesday to attend Florida.
Mornhinweg, a 6-foot-3, 205-pound star at St. Joseph’s Prep and the son of Philadelphia Eagles offensive coordinator, Marty, committed to Penn State in July, but was swayed to become a Gator after a visit to Gainesville.
Mornhinweg made his decision last week, and informed Florida coach Will Muschamp, but did not make it public out of respect for Joe Paterno’s family and the former Penn State coach’s funeral services.
“I really like Penn State, but I think Florida is the better fit for me,” Mornhinweg said. “I’m really excited to start. I can’t wait. I also have to admit it is a relief. It’s good to have it all over with.”
National Signing Day is Wednesday.
“I really liked Florida when I visited and I liked the players,” said Mornhinweg, who threw for 1,780 yards and 21 touchdowns during his senior year. “There are a couple of reasons why I chose Florida. One was the players I met, they were great. I can really see myself playing with these guys.
“The other was the kind of offense Coach Muschamp runs. He works an offense around the talents of his quarterback.”
As a sophomore, Mornhinweg gave a verbal commitment to then-Stanford coach Jim Harbaugh. But when Harbaugh left the Cardinal for the San Francisco 49ers, he explored other options last spring.
That’s when Penn State entered the picture. He committed to Paterno on July 19.
“I love the old-school ways Coach Paterno does things,” Mornhinweg said at the time. “I can’t wait to start there.”
But then, the scandal surrounding former Penn State assistant coach Jerry Sandusky hit, resulting in the ousting of school President Graham Spanier and Paterno, who died Jan. 22. In November, Mornhinweg began to look around again, and visited Florida, as well as Virginia Tech.
“Sky has been through a lot,” St. Joseph’s coach Gabe Infante said. “This kid deals with adversity better than anyone I’ve ever coached before.
“It speaks of the kid’s character, and how his parents raised him. I couldn’t be happier for Sky.”
Mornhinweg, a four-year starter at defensive back and three-year starter at quarterback, joins a Florida program coming off an uncharacteristic 7-6 season, including a 3-5 mark in the Southeastern Conference.
“He loves competition,” Infante said. “Think about it. Sky’s going to a great school, in one of the most difficult conferences in the country. He’s going to play for a coach that wants him. He’s going to do very well down there at Florida.
“I can’t wait to see him play.”
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