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October 5, 2012

Pirl works his way into WR rotation

The grind has never really stopped for Robert Morris wide receiver Quinton Pirl.

Pirl, a redshirt junior from Austintown, Ohio, had had to battle a number of adversities since stepping onto campus in Moon, Pennsylvania.

"I played as a freshman, my sophomore year I tore my hamstring and got redshirted, last year, I basically got beat out and got a little bit of playing time, and this year I got to start," he said.

Pirl, along with fellow teammate and current starting fullback Nick Groat, was recruited out of Austintown-Fitch high school. Pirl said that the decision to come to Robert Morris was made mostly because him and Groat were best friends in high school and they wanted to go to school together.

As Pirl explained, the time he's spent as a Colonial hasn't always been an easy ride. Pirl started his career on the JV squad where he played in only one game before being brought up.

"I played JV for one game," he said. "Then I had three touchdowns and the coaches told me I'm not playing JV anymore."

After what he considered a solid freshman year, Pirl tore his hamstring in spring practices his sophomore year and received a redshirt. After nearly a whole year off from football rehabbing, Pirl came into camp hopeful for a starting spot, except even he knows he got outplayed.

"It's been more tough mentally than physically. You come in and you're a star in high school, then you come here and you're at the bottom of the totem pole," he said.

This season, Pirl suffered a sprained AC joint that kept him out of part of the Albany game and a 20-14 loss in Dayton. Pirl has also been used as a kick and punt returner, a duty he has given up to Evan Taylor since the injury.

"Punt returning was nerve racking. It's tough for our defense to block those guys when they're running down full speed so it was a lot of fair catches," he said. "Since my injury, Evan Taylor went back and took over the duties and he's been back there making plays."

Pirl said that when it comes to this year, he wants his team to win out.

"Whether I'm in the game or somebody else is in the game I'm just trying to support the team," he said.

Pirl said he considers his brain as the strength of his game. As a redshirt junior, he's been in coach Joe Walton's offense for four years now and said he knows all the plays and can help guys with less experience. The 5-foot-10, 180 pound Pirl said he wants to get stronger this offseason and work on getting mentally prepared for games and practice.

Growing up, Pirl said his favorite player was former Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward because of the passion he played with. However, he his realistic about his situation and knows that football might not always be in his future.

"I'm just trying to do me. I'm not looking for that career, my life is going a different way but I'm just trying to go for the team 100 percent," he said.

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