Beau Pribula was watching the NFL wild-card game between the Minnesota Vikings and New Orleans Saints on Sunday when his phone buzzed and caught his attention.
The call was from Josh Oswalt, Pribula’s former football coach at Central York High School. Although Oswalt recently took a job in the same position at Cumberland Valley High, he still plays a major role in Pribula’s college recruiting.
The reason for the message was that the Panthers’ 6-foot, 2-inch, 195-pound quarterback had a call from a college coach with a name familiar to Penn State football fans.
After joining the Nittany Lions as a quarterbacks coach in 2014 and rising to offensive coordinator the past two seasons, Ricky Rahne took over as head coach of NCAA Division I Old Dominion University on Dec. 9. One of his first orders of business as ODU's coach was offering Pribula a scholarship.
“He’s coached a ton of great quarterbacks and what he’s been able to do is really good, so having the opportunity that he could coach me is cool,” Pribula said.
Building a bond: This phone call wasn’t the first interaction between Rahne and Pribula. The sophomore quarterback initially met Rahne at a football camp when he was a freshman. Pribula attended another camp at Penn State this past summer at Rahne’s invitation and took in the Penn State-Purdue game at Beaver Stadium on Oct. 5.
“I have known him for a while now, so we have already had a pretty good relationship,” Pribula said. “He’s worked with me at quarterback, so I am comfortable with him as a coach and it’s pretty cool that he eventually offered me.”
Pribula added that getting the offer, his third from an NCAA Division I school (Sacred Heart University and Temple University are the others), meant a lot because of the talented players that Rahne has coached, such as Trace McSorley and Sean Clifford.
ODU (1-11 in 2019) and Temple (8-5 in 2019) play at the Football Bowl Subdivision level, while Sacred Heart (7-5 in 2019) is a Football Championship Subdivision program. ODU plays in Conference USA, while Temple competes in the American Athletic Conference.
A bright future: As a sophomore in his first season playing varsity quarterback in 2019, Pribula led the Panthers to a 9-2 record and York-Adams League Division I title. He was also named a D-I honorable mention selection at QB. His played wideout his freshman season when his brother, Cade, was Central's starting quarterback. Cade is now at the University of Delaware.
Beau Pribula finished his sophomore year 77 for 135 (57%) for 1,244 yards passing. He also rushed 62 times for 365 yards, averaging nearly 6 yards per carry. He scored 11 touchdowns.
The talented quarterback hasn’t yet set his summer schedule for college camps, but if this latest offer is any clue, his list of invites will be long.
Despite all the colleges interested after just one season of varsity football at QB, Pribula’s focus is making sure he doesn’t get caught up in the hype and continues to earn the respect and admiration of college coaches.
“I’m very fortunate,” Pribula said. “I’m humbled by it and I just want to keep working hard so I can get more opportunities like this.”
Reach Rob Rose at firstname.lastname@example.org.