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OP's Hoppy will play two at Bucknell; Akron's Tretter to Cornell

We have a signings update in Friday's paper, but here are the nuts and bolts as well as some additional information:

Kyle Hoppy of Orchard Park has signed with Bucknell University, where he will play both football and baseball. Hoppy was a first-team All-Western New York selection and the state championship MVP for the Quakers this past football season and was a second-team All-WNY baseball pick last spring.

Bucknell contacted Hoppy in mid-December and he visited the school last month. Hoppy had interest from the University at Buffalo, Pittsburgh and South Carolina for baseball. Lafayette, Mercyhurst and Lehigh recruited him for football.

Bucknell's willingness to let Hoppy play both sports was a major factor in him selecting the Patriot League school, who compete in Division I in baseball and what is widely known as Division I-AA in football.

"I'm just really excited. It was sort of out of the blue … I really wasn't talking to them all season, but they said they were watching all season. When they came to my house on the first day, they said, "We've been looking at you all season; sorry about not contacting you, but we've been looking from afar, and we've liked what we've seen from you on the inside and outside."

Bucknell contacted Hoppy a few weeks before Christmas. They offered him a scholarship on his visit to the school, telling him it was a limited-time offer.

"They brought me down and told me I was No.‚1 on their board, and if I was to take it I had to take it within that week," Hoppy said. "But I knew right then I was going to take it because I loved it there.

"I loved the campus, and loved all the coaches … it was a great, tight-knit group and it seemed like a great place to be."

As for playing two sports, he realizes it isn't as simple as high school.

"They told me it's quite a challenge, but a lot of people around here say I can do it," said Hoppy. "I've talked to few people who have done it, and they've said that if anyone can do it, I can. I hope to live up to the challenge and do both, because that's the way I've always done it."

A few days after he committed to Bucknell, he got a call from Colorado State, which extended an invitation to try and walk-on with the Rams. Former Bills assistant and current Colorado State coach Steve Fairchild, who is still friendly with Orchard Park parents, asked if Hoppy was worth taking a look at. Colorado State looked at Hoppy's film and then gave him a call.

"Another coach called me back and said that they had already signed a JUCO (junior college) QB and signed a QB last year, but they would love for me to come and battle for a spot," said Hoppy, who declined since he had accepted Bucknell's offer.

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** J.C. Tretter of Akron will also play football at Cornell, which recruited him as a tight end. He has a sister who is already at the Ivy League school and has two uncles who played football for the Big Red at Schoellkopf Field. Ithaca is an outstanding town -- I worked there as a reporter and sports editor from 1996-99. WNY football fans will be keeping their eyes on the Red thanks to Tretter and St. Francis' Luke Tasker, who is also headed to Cornell.

** Canisius will have a ceremony today for several players, including John Urschel (Penn State), Pat Wilson (University at Buffalo) and Steve Madlock (Mercyhurst).

---Keith McShea

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