Living in a small town in western Ohio and playing in the state's lowest division isn't the best way for a football prospect to get seen, but Maria Stein (Oh.) Marion quarterback Adam Bertke has drawn enough attention to earn a half-dozen scholarships, including the offer he picked up two weeks ago.
"Pitt offered me after one of their one-day camps," Bertke told Panther-Lair.com. "They were recruiting me before that and they were really high on me. They said I had a scholarship talent-wise, but I had to get over there to meet the coaches and make sure I was their guy as far as character and personality and that kind of thing.
"So I went to the camp and I guess they liked me, because they offered me that afternoon. I sat down and talked to [head coach Paul Chryst] and he said I was the kind of guy they're looking for, as far as my character and the type of person I am. And that's when he said I had a scholarship to the University of Pittsburgh."
Bertke's first contact with Pitt came through quarterbacks coach Brooks Bollinger, who traveled to Marion to watch Bertke, 6'6" 210, throw this spring. Bollinger and offensive coordinator Joe Rudolph later made a second trip to the school for an academic evaluation.
Now Bertke is looking to make his second trip to Pitt with a midweek visit on Tuesday.
"I'm going up there with my parents on Tuesday to see the campus and look at everything," he said. "We took a tour when we were there for the camp, but we didn't really see that much, so we wanted to go back and get a better feel for the campus and everything."
While Bertke wants to see more of what Pitt has to offer, he already likes a lot of what he has seen.
"The facilities are awesome, the coaching staff is awesome, the offense they run is awesome for quarterbacks, and you pretty much have two quarterback coaches in Coach Chryst and Coach Bollinger," Bertke said. "The coaching staff has a lot of experience at the pro level; that's a plus because I want to go to the NFL and I think Pitt's offense and coaching staff would help me get there.
"The campus and the facilities are nice, but the city is kind of a big step for me. I live in a small town and there are pretty much cornfields everywhere you look. So it's a little intimidating seeing the city; it's not a huge deal but it's something I have to consider."
Bertke's other offers are from Illinois, Akron, Bowling Green, Kent State, and Toledo. He said that Pitt and Kent State are his current favorites, although there's one more school that could jump into the mix.
"Purdue has been showing a lot of interest," Bertke said. "I went to their camp last Sunday and they said they had one more camp after that, and then they were going to sit down and evaluate all the quarterbacks that were at their camp and send out offers. I haven't heard from them yet, so I'm going to get in contact and see."
In addition to the camps and Purdue and Pitt, Bertke visited Akron and Kent State this month. He doesn't have any more camps or visits planned beyond Tuesday's visit to Pitt, and he could make a decision on college in the near future.
"I want to decide soon, definitely before my senior season and possibly in the next week or two," he said."
In the last two years, Bertke has led Marion to back-to-back state championships. He said that he threw for 2,300 yards and 18 touchdowns and ran for 1,000 yards and 21 touchdowns last season, although he considers himself a pro-style quarterback and not dual-threat.
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