2013 RB Anderson commits to Penn State


Three-star tailback Richy Anderson (Frederick, Md./Gov. Thomas Johnson) decommitted from Maryland on Sunday night and became Penn State's 12th commitment of the 2013 class.

Anderson took an official visit to Happy Valley for the Ohio State game Saturday, and he knew by noon Sunday he needed to switch his loyalty.

"The sanctions don't matter to me," he said Sunday night. "Being in that environment, it just proves it. No, you can't play in a bowl game. And, no, they lost a lot of scholarships -- but the tradition and everything is still there. It's not just about football.

"And they were down big in the fourth quarter, and nobody left. It was just amazing. It's more than football there, and it's crazy."

The 5-foot-10, 180-pound tailback said he wasn't completely sold on the school Saturday night. But when he spoke with strength coach Craig Fitzgerald and sat down to Sunday breakfast with the staff, his mind started to change. When he sprawled inside his father's car, slipped on his headphones and stared out the window, he realized he was committed to the wrong school in Maryland.

On that car ride home, different scenarios and questions played through Anderson's mind -- but it always came back to Penn State. Could he make it to the next level? Well, PSU has NFL scouts at most practices. Does this PSU fan base still support the football team? Nobody left the game. Can he leave with a good degree? PSU boasts great academics.

Anderson felt himself lean toward PSU, so he took a nap. When he awoke, 30 minutes before arriving inside his Maryland home, he told his father he wanted to create a list of pros and cons so he could make certain it wasn't just his heart making the decisions.

Anderson and his father, a Penn State alum, sat at the kitchen table and came up with two lists -- one for the Terrapins and one for the Nittany Lions. And everything seemed to fall in Penn State's favor.

"I decided what was best for me, and I felt that I respected Maryland's coaches and wanted to let them know. I wanted to be a man about the situation, in a way," Anderson said. "And then I just talked to Coach O'Brien and [Charles] London and let them know. They were fired up, and they were happy for me -- and I felt secure in my decision.

"It was a fun weekend, and it really changed my mind on a lot of different things."

Anderson plans to enroll early at Penn State, and he said he holds no preference over whether to redshirt. If he does take that year to improve, however, it won't be because he just wants to see an extra bowl game.

"If I enroll early and feel like I can compete, I would like to play," he said. "I'm not going to just sit out a year because of a bowl game. Every home game is a bowl game. To me, that's not really a factor."

Anderson received a Penn State offer just two months ago, something at the time he called a "dream." He committed to the Terrapins two months before PSU entered the picture, and Anderson knew at the time of that PSU offer that the new school would be a strong contender.

The Maryland native has attended numerous Penn State games over his lifetime -- his father, Richie Sr., was a fullback under Joe Paterno -- but he said there was still something special about Saturday. And that feeling helped put his mind at ease over his new commitment.

"I can't explain it," he said. "It was just a different feeling. Everyone in the stadium felt the same way. And, win or lose, they were going to be happy with it, because they really support the team. ... I just know Penn State's the best place for me."