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Penn Hills grad Squires heads to Lackawanna to play wide receiver

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Penn Hills alum Rick Squires understands how much athletic ability he possesses and made the decision to invest in himself by transferring and changing positions.

Last season, Squires felt he wasn’t in the ideal situation at the University at Buffalo. Squires, who was red-shirted, was penciled in to play linebacker.

As his time at Buffalo progressed, however, Squires knew something wasn’t right.

In June, Squires felt he needed to get more film of himself at wide receiver, so he decided to transfer to Lackawanna College, a junior college in Scranton, in hopes of signing with another NCAA Division I program that wants him at wide receiver.

“I’ve been telling people I wanted to transfer, but I was raised that me transferring or wanting to transfer is like quitting. That’s not the mentality that I have. I realized it’s not quitting but investing in myself,” Squires said.

“If I continued to play linebacker, I would’ve been an OK linebacker, but if I play receiver, I would be a great receiver. The goal is to make it to the NFL. I feel like I have a better chance at making it to the NFL more at receiver than linebacker.”

The 6-foot-1, 205-pound receiver has several familiar faces around him at Lackawanna. Squires is joined by JaQuan Brisker (Gateway), Robert Kennedy (Jeannette), Harrison Dreher (Clariton), Alonzo Mitchell (East Allegheny), Soctt Houseman (Yough) and Micah Jarrett (Ambridge).

Squires credits the relationship he has with Brisker as a crucial factor in getting the Lackawanna coaching staff to look at his film. Squires believes he can make a bigger impact in a football game by playing on offense.

Even though he took a year off from playing wide receiver, Squires believes his knowledge gained from playing defense and being in a Division I weight room will benefit him when he lines up at wide receiver.

“Playing safety and linebacker actually help me be a better offensive player because I can breakdown defenses much better now,” Squires said.

“Whenever I’m running my routes, I can understand the weaknesses of the defenses and the concepts they’re trying to run. All of that stuff helps me on the receiver side because I know exactly what they’re trying to do and what they’re trying to accomplish.”

Prior to signing with Buffalo, Squires was mulling offers from Cincinnati and Miami (Ohio).

During his senior season, Squires finished with 40 tackles, four tackles for loss, two sacks, an interception and a fumble recovery. At wide receiver, Squires had 29 receptions for 437 yards and five touchdowns.

Squires, who was a three-star recruit according to Rivals, received offers from Boston College, Iowa State, Temple, Toledo, Akron, Western Michigan, Army and Robert Morris.

To get a shot at playing in the NFL, Squires is willing to put in the work necessary to earn playing time on game days. The more playing time, the more film prospective colleges can review.

“It’s a learning experience, but you just got to trust the process,” Squires said. “It’s not like I got kicked out of school. I knew the reputation of JUCO. I’m taking one step back to take two steps forward. It’s an investment I’ve made in myself.”

Andrew John is a freelance writer.

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