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Old 04-04-2005, 11:58 PM   #4
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Default Re: Michigan football

Henne and Morelli rilvalry

By Derek Levarse
Collegian Staff Writer

The way they are talked about, you'd think Anthony Morelli and Chad Henne were bitter rivals.

Not exactly.

Despite the endless debate on which Pennsylvania quarterback is better, Penn State recruit Morelli and Michigan recruit Henne actually get along pretty well, thank you very much.

Even after getting yanked mid-drive for Henne in Saturday's Big 33 Football Classic in a move that he called "frustrating," Morelli insisted that there is no bad blood between himself and his fellow top-five quarterback recruit.

"Me and Chad get along good," Morelli said after Saturday's game. "It's not between me and him. It's nothing like that."

After rallying the Pennsylvania team to a halftime lead on the strength of two sideline bombs, Morelli strode back to the sideline pumping his fist.

And Henne was one of the first to greet him there. The recent Wilson High School graduate gave his Western Pennsylvania counterpart a big smile and a slap on the helmet for giving their team a spark after a mostly listless first quarter.

Henne reiterated Morelli's comments and said that no words were exchanged because of the switch.

Pennsylvania coach George Chaump raved about both signal callers in the week leading up to the game and was pleased with both of their performances in the game, despite not getting to use Morelli as much in the fourth quarter.

"They both did very well," Chaump said.

"I thought Morelli was outstanding in that second quarter. Unfortunately in [the fourth] quarter, we didn't have the ball as much as we wanted and we were down inside where we could run it in."

Penn State recruits turned in some solid performances -- notably linebacker Dontey Brown being credited with two sacks and fullback Dan Lawlor's touchdown plunge -- but Morelli's aerial prowess stole the show.

Though much of the focus was on his deep-ball arm strength, Morelli also displayed an impressive pocket presence, including a slashing 11-yard run for a first down. And despite the two 50-yard completions, his best pass may have come on a third-and-long near midfield when he drilled a pass right between the numbers of tight end Rory Nicol for a first down.

Morelli, who rarely ran a play at Penn Hills High School that utilized more than two receivers, looked comfortable running Chaump's four-wide sets and enjoyed the experience.

"It was great," he said. "Coach finally let me get loose out here and do something I never really did in high school. It was awesome."

Morelli gave Penn State fans a tantalizing glimpse of the future at Saturday's Big 33 Football Classic, heaving up several picturesque spirals for big gains.

What was a little more dismaying for blue-and-white supporters was the guy trying to defend those bombs.
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