The Future of Linebacker U.

Chris Colasanti

In recent years Penn State has added a lot to its deep linebacker tradition, which earned the program the nickname "Linebacker U." back in the 1970s. With players like Paul Posluszny, Dan Connor, Tim Shaw and young guns like Sean Lee and Jerome Hayes, the debates around who the best current and future Lion 'backer is continue on. Well, the next generation is preparing to carry on the tradition.

There has not been a lot of buzz around Chris Colasanti given that he committed to Penn State back in early may, becoming PSU's first member of its Class of 2006. The 6-foot-2, 235 pound, 4.60 forty linebacker from Bloomfield, Michigan had a banner 2005 season, earning him a slew of honors like All-Catholic League, First Team Oakland County by the Oakland Press, First Team All-Metro by the Detroit News and the Detroit Free-Press and First Team All-State by the Detroit News, Detroit Free-Press and the Associated Press.

In 2005, after transferring from Pontiac Notre Dame Prep, he ended the season with 125 total tackles, (7 for a loss) and on offense he had 39 Carries for 181 yards (4.6 YPC) and 3 touchdowns.

Colasanti's efforts led Brother Rice to the State Championship.

This season Colasanti leads the defense of a Brother Rice team that is ranked No. 24 in USA Today's Super 25 high school national rankings. Through two playoff games this season, Brother Rice has outscored teams 68-6 with a shutout in the opener against Redford Union.

This season Colasanti has picked up 106 tackles, seven sacks for 44 lost yards and two fumble recoveries. He also picked up a safety, leading his team to an 11-0 record.

Colasanti has also seen action at fullback, rushing 16 times for 117 yards (7.3 YPC) with a long of 30 yards and three touchdowns on the season.

According to his head coach, Al Fracassa, "He's a great linebacker, and we love him as a fullback because he's a great blocker and he runs like a horse."

In their first playoff clash this season Colasanti had seven tackles and eight assists, recovered a fumble, forced a safety, and scored on a 13-yard touchdown run to lead the Warriors past Redford Union 33-0.

As Colasanti told The Observer, "They had three really good running backs and we knew we had to stop them and just let our offense play their game."

In their following clash against Detroit Henry Ford, who shutout Farmington 38-0 the previous week, Colasanti ended up with eleven tackles and a sack in a 35-6 victory.

This week he was named an All-Metro selection by the Detroit News. He has a 3.5 GPA and is also a baseball standout. Colasanti benches 325 pounds and has a 4.35 second shuttle time. He has an interest in studying medicine.

As assistant coach David Sofran describes him as "A throw-back type football player. Hard-nosed, tough and definitely fits the bill on what you want an inside linebacker to look like. Could be one of the best linebacker prospects in the history of Brother Rice."

With offers from programs like Michigan, Michigan State, Iowa, Ohio State and UCLA, Colasanti talked about his decision to head to Happy Valley, saying, "Penn State just felt right. It felt like the was place I wanted to and should be at. I love that I'll have the chance to play for Coach (Ron) Vanderlinden, and a chance to play at "Linebacker U" where so many great linebackers have been produced.

"I really hit it off with Sean Lee, who was in a similar position as mine last year choosing between Iowa and Penn State. I got to sit down at the training table with all of their linebackers, including one of my idols, Paul Posluszny, who told me he had watched my film and was impressed. That was great to hear."

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