Though his father played his college football for Penn State before being drafted by the Houston Oilers, junior offensive guard Kevin Reihner doesn't believe he has any bias going into the recruiting process.
His father, George Reihner, is a popular name among Penn State fans, but the younger Reihner wants to make the best decision for himself. That doesn't mean he will necessarily end up going to another school. It just means he will be open to the idea.
"I grew up a Penn State fan, but even though my dad played there he hasn't pushed it too hard," Reihner explained. "I'm very much a free agent, so to speak. I'm keeping my eyes open."
Article Continues Below
The well-spoken 6-foot-3, 275-pound lineman from Scranton Preparatory in Pennsylvania holds early offers from NC State and Pitt. What has his relationship to those two schools been like so far?
"Pitt offered me on September 1, and NC State (offered) two weeks ago," he explained. "Pitt had seen me, and I sent out sophomore film to them. They were the most intrigued of the schools that got tape from me, and they had me go to one of their one-day camps. When it came in I really didn't know too much about Pitt football. I've been out a couple of times. I went for their camp, and then I went right before our doubles started to see one of their live practices. Then I went to see them play Notre Dame.
"As for NC State, I sent a sophomore film out but my first response from them was the offer. That was kind of surprising. I'm actually watching them play (North Carolina) right now," he said on Saturday afternoon. "I'm definitely going to keep an open mind. My dad knows a couple of people on the staff down there, so I'll try to make it out in the spring. I'd be lying if I said I knew a lot about the program, but I'll definitely give it a look. It's my understanding that their line coach is very well regarded."
Scranton Preparatory and Reihner's season ended in the first round of the state playoffs, but the young man feels good about the season as a whole.
"We won a couple of big (games) and we had some injuries off and on," he said. "I feel like we could have done better, but it was the first winning season with our new coach. His first year was my freshman season.
"As for my biggest emphasis this year ... well, my freshman year I was a little bit small, and my sophomore year I kept trying to get bigger. I almost lost a step. This year I've been playing much quicker, faster and with more of a motor."
Reihner plays both offensive and defensive tackle for his high school squad, but he believes he will probably be an offensive guard when he reaches the college ranks.
Aside from Pitt and NC State, Reihner has received heavy interest from Penn State, Michigan and Virginia. He has taken a couple of official visits to Penn State and he took a similar trip to Michigan.
Most other schools are hoping to receive his junior film soon.