- Josh Moyer, ESPN Staff Writer
Sophomore Dionte Austin (Towson, Md./Calvert Hall) never held a negative opinion about Penn State but, then again, he had three good reasons to remain positive:
"I like that school," said the soft-spoken cornerback. "A lot of kids that came to Calvert Hall are going there now, and I know I can get better there. Their facilities and coaches are great."
The Maryland school has become somewhat of a recruiting pipeline the last two seasons, and Austin hoped to keep that trend alive by attending a Penn State camp a few months ago.
He remembers sprinting across the practice field, hoping to catch a coach's eye, while the three Calvert Hall stars watched from the sideline. Austin said he enjoyed the direction from coaches such as assistant John Butler, who often pulled players aside to advise them on improvements.
"I really liked how they coach you up there. They told me to get my hands on the receivers when they're coming off the line," Austin said. "And I really want a good coaching staff, a staff that would be there for you, that you feel like you could hang out with on and off the field."
Austin still has two more seasons of high school football before his signing day, but he's already garnered interest from several head coaches. The 6-foot, 140-pound defensive back already holds offers from Boston College, Toledo and Connecticut -- all thanks to his performances at various summer camps.
He said he first impressed the Eagles by running their 40-yard dash in 4.5 seconds. Austin just smiled, at a loss for words, when Boston College became the first FBS school to extend an offer.
"It was surprising because I'm only a sophomore cornerback," he said. "I expected schools to be interested -- but not to verbally offer me."
For now, the humble sophomore just plans to hone his craft, hit the weight room and attend another slew of summer camps. He plans to again attend Penn State's summer camp and maybe even again drive up for the Blue-White Game.
"I remember that game because the fans were just crazy there, and it was only a scrimmage," Austin said. "I can only imagine what it's like up there for a real game."
15dMitch Sherman and Brian Bennett