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Laurel Highlands Star Rodney Gallagher to Focus on Football in College

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Rodney Gallagher has decided to focus on football only once he is in college, he told Pittsburgh Sports Now.

“It was a lot,” Gallagher told PSN about the decision. “It was one of the hardest decisions that I have made in my life. I have really been thinking about what I really want to do for some time now, but I finally did have to pick football.”

Gallagher was previously planning to play both football and basketball at the college level and was being recruited by several high major programs for both sports, including Pitt, West Virginia, and Penn State.

“My basketball stuff got really quiet, and part of it was because they really didn’t think I was going to be focusing on basketball anymore with the two-sport situation,” he continued. “They know football takes up so much, lifting wise and all the stuff off the field, and even when we are on the field in the facilities too. So, for basketball, I haven’t heard from a new coach, other than West Virginia, Penn State, and Pitt, those are probably the only schools I heard from since last summer. So it really just came down to that, and then obviously, you know how hard it is to play two sports in college. So, it was really hard for me because obviously I wanted to try something, but everything happens for a reason. I am very excited I did pick what I am picking.”

Gallagher played defensive back, wide receiver, and quarterback this year for Laurel Highlands. On the year, he racked up 1000+ yards both passing and rushing and scored more than 30 touchdowns overall.

“My recruitment is starting to really pop off after the year that I had, and the film I had just dropped. In football, a lot of it was coaches waiting for me to officially announce that this is what I am doing, and I hope that my recruitment pops off even more. So, I am very excited for that.”

As far as basketball goes, Gallagher did say that he will still be playing for Laurel Highlands. In his two seasons so far in high school, he has earned First Team All-State both years, and will look to continue to do the same this year and next.

“Yes, of course, I am still going to be playing basketball for the school,” said Gallagher. “Our goal is still to win a WPIAL and hopefully a state championship so that’s our goal. I am still going to be taking that as serious as I ever have so obviously that will never change, for me.”

While he is already a top-100 player in the nation, Gallagher wants to spend this offseason improving both his skills on the field as well as his body.

“This offseason, I am really going to focus on getting my hands better and speed, and my size,” he went on. “I am going to be in the weight room a lot, changing my diet, and everything. I finally can focus on one sport, and my body will be a lot better because I am doing physical therapy as well. I really want to focus on being a receiver, a slot receiver, like a Diontae Johnson type. So I am really going to focus on that. I’ve got a trainer and everything, so I am really excited for what is about to take off. But DB is always in my back pocket, also. Just with the footwork and everything that I am going to be doing, that translates over to DB too.”

Gallagher’s football recruitment is heating up day by day. He included that Louisville, North Carolina, Florida State, Tennessee, Kentucky, and Stanford have all entered the mix recently and are showing interest. On top of that, once more programs notice that he has committed to football, he is hoping for his recruitment to heat up even more.

“Hopefully I feel a lot better after this,” he said. “I think there’s a chance I am going to get a lot more schools once they see I’m focusing on football.”

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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