Ray Lankford is not your prototypical outside linebacker. In fact, that would because he has yet to play the position in high school. He has starred as a safety in McKeesport, Pennsylvania. However, his talents alone do not stop at the safety position according to Head Coach George Smith.
"Ray is a real good athlete," Coach Smith described. "He is a physical hard hitter who will punish people. He does everything for us here at Mc Keesport Area High School."
One of those traits has including lining up as the punter something that could come useful for the school of his destination.
"We did not have a punter this fall, and Ray just lined up and took over the job. He has played wingback, split end, safety, and return specialist also. There isn't one thing he cannot do on the football field."
"I have known Coach O'Keefe from Iowa since he was Head Coach at Allegheny College here in Pennsylvania. I have a lot of respect for him. The decision is Ray's to make, but I would have no problem sending him to the University of Iowa."
HTO.com also caught up with Ray Lankford to get his impressions on the Hawkeye program and his official visit to Boston College this past weekend, which many other recruits in attendance have raved about upon their return home.
"It was a good visit," Ray pointed out. "I had the chance to meet a lot of nice people, and Boston College put on a show against Syracuse for the recruits in attendance. They have a good team and it was good to see their RB Derrick Knight reach 1,000 yards on the season."
Did that visit set a higher standard for his upcoming visit to Iowa City?
"Don't get me wrong, the visit was good. However, I'm still just anxious to see Iowa City and what their program has to offer."
Ray was also not hesistant to name one Hawkeye assitant who has put his visit to Iowa City in place.
"Coach O'Keefe seems real warm. He has been cool throughout the process. Not to mention, the team has just been awesome this year, ranked at #4. I just need to visit so I can view the campus, academics, and see what it's all about in Iowa City."
The Hawks have seen much success in their recruitment of Pennsylvania, most notably Bob Sanders, Ed Hinkel, and Jovon Johnson. Once again, the Hawks have found a player with little interest compared to some of the elite across Pennsylvania. Ray currently holds offers from Iowa, Boston College, Syracuse, UConn, and Eastern Michigan. Will their recruitment of Ray Lankford once again prove the east coast powers wrong again?
"I was pretty upset at first that my hometown school, Pitt, did not recruit me. The same goes for Penn State. It's too late for either school to offer at this point. It seems to me that Iowa has been doing a better job of doing their homework lately and its shown on the field. I just hope to get the chance to come back home and stick it to the schools, and I will get that chance at either Iowa or Boston College."
Ray, who currently holds a 3.0 GPA and 880 on the SAT, also mentioned that his Hawkeye visit may be pushed back so he can join teammate OL Bill Starry in visiting Eastern Michigan on the 6th of December.
The Hawks will wait to host Ray Lankford on an official visit. Their chances are good at this point with Boston College remaining as tough competition, but can "Melrose Magic" be anymore special than its shown in 2002?
Linebacker is always a critical position on the defensive side of the ball, and the Hawks are not shying away from adding some very promising LB's in this year's class. With two verbals already on hand, the Hawks will be looking to add potentially one or two more linebackers. There are only elite LB's left on their list, including this Pennsylvania Outside Linebacker.