By John Blake, Sun News  |  Wednesday, June 27, 2012 |

Former Holy Name football player Dan Dreher had a lot on his plate during his high school career.

Plenty was thrown his way on and off the field but Dreher was able to handle it all exceedingly well. After all his hard work, Dreher has earned a scholarship to attend Princeton University in the fall.

“It’s the best of both worlds because it’s a world class education and very high class football so it’s really exciting and I’m really looking forward to the opportunity and all that,” said Dreher. “It should be a lot of fun.”

The 6-foot, 3-inch, 260-pound offensive and defensive lineman received offers from Holy Cross, Brown and Harvard as well before deciding on Princeton in early December.

“It was stressful because you don’t always know where you sit,” said Dreher. “Coaches will tell you things that maybe aren’t so true and you get your hopes up but that’s one thing with Princeton. They were always very consistent and honest where most other schools aren’t. They promise you the world and don’t come through.

“It was hard, always being compared to other people and judged and whatnot but that’s one thing I liked about Princeton, they were always very interested and very honest with me. It was an easy decision.”

Dreher played offensive line and linebacker his sophomore and junior seasons before moving up to the defensive line as a senior. He said he plans on playing defensive end at Princeton in its 3-4 scheme.

Dreher, who led the Green Wave in tackles in 2010, has been part of a football resurgence at Holy Name under third-year head coach Mark Pinzone. The Green Wave went 7-3 in 2011 after winning just five games the previous two seasons.

Being successful not only on the field but in the classroom was extremely important to Dreher during high school. Not many athletes have the ability to balance a career on the field while also maintaining close to a 4.0 GPA.

“It’s a lot of hard work but I enjoy doing well in both so that kind of almost gave me the ability to work hard at it because I enjoy it,” said Dreher, who also played on the basketball team in the winter. “It was tough but I had a lot of support behind me.”

He hopes that continues, with aspirations of taking advantage of a prestigious institution such as Princeton.

“Academically I want to graduate, probably not with perfect grades, but with solid grades and hopefully come out with a great internship or great job or another graduate school opportunity,” said Dreher, who is leaning towards finance or economics or possibly even pre-med as a major.

As he prepares for the fall, Dreher is hoping to put on about 15 pounds so he can withstand the hitting of college offensive linemen.

“I’m lifting four to five times a week and doing speed work along with that,” said Dreher. “They sent me a workout and all that. I can get up to speed on (the playbook) pretty quickly so hopefully when I go into camp I’ll be ready to go.”

Dreher said he hopes to get some playing time early and is working hard to start as a sophomore.

“I know what they told me is that they see me as an All-Ivy League player junior, senior year,” said Dreher. “I definitely want to accomplish that and I want to see sub time as a freshman and sophomore.”