- Josh Moyer, ESPN Staff Writer
Tim Longmire (Tallahassee, Fla./Godby) was caught off-guard when Penn State assistant Stan Hixon stopped by his school Friday -- but he was even more surprised when Hixon offered him a scholarship.
"Just the distance of how far away it is, for them coming all the way down here to Tallahassee, it means something," Longmire said. "It was real exciting."
The three-star senior prospect first realized the Nittany Lions were interested in him about two weeks ago. Despite the quick turnaround, he said Penn State already jumped into his current top three -- at least among schools that offered scholarships.
Longmire holds nine offers, and some of his favorite schools right now include Cincinnati and Florida Atlantic. He plans to attend an Owls game in the near future, but he hasn't yet settled on his official visits.
"My recruitment's really picked up, so I kind of want to wait it out another two to three weeks to see if more offers come," he said. "I'll probably make my officials [visits] then in the next three weeks."
The 5-foot-11 tailback said he's received increased attention this season as a result of his transfer from nearby Leon High School. Longmire is now splitting time at tailback, slot receiver and even Wildcat quarterback. Some schools are now eyeing that athleticism and asking him what he thinks about playing in the slot in college.
"I told them I would like to primarily be a running back and maybe just play some slot," he said, adding that Hixon wanted to see him in the backfield.
Longmire said his recruiting priorities included a high graduation rate for student-athletes and enrolling at a college that has his intended major (maybe engineering or sports management). Penn State boasts both of those features, and Longmire said he looked forward to building a relationship with Hixon.
And, as far as the NCAA sanctions, Longmire didn't seem too bothered.
"I kind of thought about it," he said. "It's something I would have to deal with, but it's not just about football because football may not always be there. I'm looking at the big picture. It's not just about bowl games; it's about getting a degree and going to a good college.
"At the end of the day, it wouldn't stop me from going there."
3dJosh Moyer and Tom VanHaaren