Akron grabs Western Pa. quarterback

In a scene almost made for the big screen, quarterback Ed Stockett (McKeesport, Pa./McKeesport) was sitting on a beach along the North Carolina coast thinking about his future. He talked with his family. He talked with his coach. Then he made one of the biggest decisions he’s had to make.

Stockett was going to commit to Akron.

“We were on the beach and talking about it,” Stockett said while vacationing on North Carolina’s Outer Banks with his family. “My head coach [Jim Ward] called me and we talked about it. We both thought it was the best decision for me.”

BCS program Rutgers as well as Eastern Michigan and Youngstown State also offered Stockett, but he believes Akron fits him best as a player. First-year coach Terry Bowden told Stockett the Zips plan to throw the ball a lot in his new offense, and although Stockett is a dual-threat quarterback, he is a throw-first player.

Quarterbacks coach A.J. Milwee and Stockett have already built a strong relationship. Milwee told Stockett he is the top quarterback on the Zips' board, and both are on the same page about an offensive game plan based on the aerial attack.

“I want to be on a high-passing team, and that’s what Coach Bowden is bringing to the table,” Stockett said. “… Coach Bowden said, ‘You haven’t seen our spring game. We threw about 54 passes. You like to pass the ball, right?’ I said, ‘Of course,’ and he said, 'Then, Akron is the place for you.’”

Stockett will make his first visit to Akron when he makes it back from vacation, but the Zips’ first commitment is also a Western Pennsylvania product. Greensburg (Pa.) Catholic safety Zach Guiser already told the 6-foot-3, 196-pound quarterback what to expect when he makes it to campus.

“He said with everything it seemed unbelievable and that’s why he committed,” Stockett said. “From what [the coaches] are telling me and what I’ve seen, it sounds like the best decision for me.”