May 23—Michael Hartshorn couldn't shake his desire to play major college football.
"When I committed to Fordham, one of the schools I was considering was Rutgers, and I really wanted to play bigger and at a higher level," Hartshorn said after making his decision official Monday. "They have another punter on the roster, but I am going to go there, and I am confident in my abilities.
"Rutgers gave me the opportunity to play big-time college football, and I had to take it."
Initially, the All-Region kicker and punter decided to attend Fordham, where his father, Scott, played college football. The Football Championship Subdivision program seemed like the perfect fit for the standout, who was ranked as one of the top punters in the country last season for the Comets.
But Hartshorn wanted to give playing on the big stage a shot.
He chose Rutgers, which finished 4-8 overall and 1-8 in the Big Ten last season, writing on his Twitter account, "There are times in life when God opens bigger and better doors."
Last season, Hartshorn had 35 punts for a 36.2-yard average and hit a season-long 58-yard punt against Scranton. He also had punts of 49 yards against Dallas, 47 against North Pocono, and 45 against Berwick. He landed seven inside the 20-yard line.
As a kicker, he made 20 of 22 extra points and booted two field goals with a long of 35 while recording four touchbacks on kickoffs.
He competed in the Blue Grey All-American Bowl as a member of the East team at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, on Dec. 12. He had a 58-yard punt in the game.
At the Kohl's Scholarship Camp in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, last summer, Hartshorn finished 12th among the 342 athletes with an average distance of 44.6 yards and an average hang time of 4.17 seconds after two sessions. Kohl's rated Hartshorn a 4 1/2 -star kicker and punter and rated him the No. 27 punter in the country.
PSFCA all-star game
Mid Valley lineman David Calafut and coach Stan Yanoski were part of the East all-star team that posted a 41-34 win over the West in the PSFCA East-West Small School all-star game last weekend at Bishop McDevitt High School.
Calafut, a 6-foot-5, 275-pound offensive tackle, was a two-year starter and LFC all-star who is headed to East Stroudsburg University.
Yanoski was an assistant coach for the East all-star team.
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