Three 2011 preferred walk-ons for Penn State

Torrey Pines(CA) QB John Cabot will be one of three
preferred walk-ons this year for Penn State.
(Photo: Anna Scipione)

Seeing how the walk-on player has been thrust into a new spotlight, brighter than ever, over the last six months, I wanted to take a few minutes of your time this morning to run down the three recruits who will join Penn State this fall under the “preferred walk-on” status.

What that term means is, very generally speaking, that Penn State will have them come to “try out” for the team, give them a roster spot, but will not offer a scholarship. The players could always earn a scholarship later, as did Matt McGloin, Josh Hull, and Deon Butler in recent years. But for the initial period of their time in Happy Valley, they’re on their own and on the scrub team.

John Cabot
Encinitas, CA/Torrey Pines
6-4, 200 lbs.
Quarterback

Sit down for this… Cabot has been described as “Farve-esque” in his quarterback play. Ugh! I think we’ve all had enough of the current McFarve, but you never know with Cabot. Figure this is more of an insurance policy for Penn State–with the uncertainty with the quarterbacks–than anything else. Cabot had offers from Idaho and Northern Colorado, but he decided to take his chances with a walk-on spot at Penn State.

J.T. Hornyak
Woodberry Forest, VA/Woodberry Forest
5-11, 175 lbs.
Defensive Back

Hornyak is the son of John Hornyak, a backup fullback on the 1986 National Championship team. He visited a few schools, but only ended up with an offer from Towson. Penn State was tracking Hornyak since late last season, but as you would expect with a low-level recruit like this, a preferred walk-on status was the only thing the roster could spare in this year’s class. Hornyak finished the season with 11 tackles, six pass breakups and one interception in 2010.

Tim Buckley
Raleigh, NC/Cardinal Gibbons
6-1, 190 lbs.
Safety

Buckley’s dad is a Penn State grad, but not a football legacy. Buckley rushed for 1,800 yards and scored 36 touchdowns last season, but he is projected as a defensive back at Penn State. Central Michigan and Western Carolina are the only schools to offer Buckley a scholarship. He reminds me of Drew Astorino, a player that Joe Paterno thinks can “make plays.”

So this brings the class to 19 total players.

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