Penn Hills grad Claude Vangelus steps right into tackle spot on Millersville line

Sunday, October 24, 2021 | 11:01 AM

Claude Vangelus didn’t have aspirations of glory when he went to his first football camp at Millersville University last summer.

The plan was to put the work in and maybe take some time to figure college life out. The 2020 Penn Hills graduate found a home early on and developed into the Marauders’ season-opening starting right tackle.

“I wasn’t trying to think about playing time during camp,” Vangelus said. “I just was worried about putting in the work. After the first week of camp, I felt comfortable.”

Millersville offensive line coach Matt Kelleher saw promise early on. Typically, many linemen at the Division II level will take a redshirt year before stepping on the field.

Vangelus credited his high school coaching staff with laying a strong foundation.

“He had a high football IQ and you could tell he was well-coached,” Kelleher said. “He had good technique. We were able to plug him in and he was able to pick up the scheme. Physically, he was ready to start at the position.”

Millersville is in the middle of a rebuilding effort. The Marauders, who are 2-5 overall and 1-3 in the PSAC East, haven’t had a winning season since 2005.

Millersville’s offense has had a tough time with injuries. Having a group learning how to play together has limited the Marauders to being the league’s 12th-best offense in terms of total yards with 1,390 (1,033 passing, 415 rushing).

But Vangelus and his teammates are developing what Millersville hopes will be an up-tempo attack.

“The tempo is a hurry-up offense,” Vangelus said. “We want to fire off the ball. Coach wants to try and get 15 to 20 plays off in 10 minutes.”

Kelleher has been working with Vangelus on getting stronger and dedicating more time to the film room. Vangelus said getting used to the tempo took some time.

“I’m playing against so many players who have been with their schools for years,” Vangelus said. “I tell myself to use the technique coach Kelleher teaches and there’s a reason he teaches those techniques.”

What Millersville wants to see from Vangelus now that he has playing experience is continued growth in his mental and physical approach.

“I want him to get in the weight room and get strong,” Kelleher said. “We want to build the quick-twitch movements our strength coach Kyle Regensburg is so good with. We also want to get him in the film room so he can study what defenses do and their tendencies. I want him to have a holistic view of football.”

Millersville still has an opportunity to exceed its win total from last season if it can win one of its final four games.

“It’s important we keep doing what we’re doing,” Vangelus said. “As long as the guys believe in what we are doing, we will be in good shape.”


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