Panthers land a bullish Tiger
CATAWISSA RR — The speculation is over.
The rumors have been silenced.
Henry Hynoski Jr. has made his decision.
Southern Columbia’s thunder-and-lightning fullback will take his considerable talents to the University of Pittsburgh, where he’s accepted a full athletic scholarship to play fullback for the Panthers.
Hynoski, along with tackle Josh Marks, gives Southern two Division I signees heading into the 2006 regular season. Marks announced earlier that he will play for Penn State.
Head Coach Jim Roth reflected on seeing Hynoski come up through the program.
“He always was a husky kid,” Roth joked. “He didn’t like to hear that though.
“Coaches over the years would razz him that he was bound to be a lineman, but he would tell them ‘You’ll see, I’ll back a back someday.’”
Sure enough, Hynoski transformed himself into a 6-2, 235-pound combination of power and speed that opposing defenses could do little to stop. Hynoski catches, runs and blocks, and does it all with authority.
Hynoski said it wasn’t a tough decision for him, and he’s glad he can focus on the upcoming season.
“I always knew it was going to be Pitt,” Hynoski said. “Ever since they started recruiting me when I was a sophomore, I just wanted to go through the whole process.”
No other school was capable of shaking the foundation of his decision throughout the recruitment process, save one. He said that if he were going to go into the Big Ten, Iowa would
have been his choice.
“It was a great experience,” Hynoski said. “I just fell in love with the campus.”
It’s common practice in college football to have a fullback as nothing more than a blocker, but Hynoski’s decision was solidified by the fact the Pitt wants to develop an aggressive running game.
“I won’t be just a blocker like most want, I’ll be able to excel at all my skills as a player,” Hynoski said.
Hynoski will become the third member of his immediate family to play collegiate sports. His father, Henry Hynoski Sr., was a standout back at Temple Univeristy and spent time in the National Football League with the Cleveland Browns. His sister, Mary Frances, played basketball at Lehigh University.
“I’ve waited 36 years for this,” Hynoski Sr. said. “It really is a dream come true.”
Hynoski has an impressive record, with another year to tack on even more. He has rushed for 4,889 yards scored 72 touchdowns on 548 carries. He has averaged 8.92 yards per carry and has caught 24 passes for 412 yards, resulting in four more career touchdowns.
“I’m going to go out there and give my all without concern for my body,” he said.
“Two guys in one season announcing Division I committment is a first for me, and for the program,” Roth said.
Hynoski has yet to decide on a major, but said he is considering pharmaceuticals or dentistry.