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Insider

Zayd Issah reflects on visit, talks officials

Zayd Issah (Harrisburg, Pa./Central Dauphin) runs through the same routine whenever he watches a game from the stands.

When the three-star athlete sees the team burst through that tunnel, he envisions himself as a player there. He wants to know how it feels, whether he's comfortable and if he fits in.

After a half-dozen trips to Happy Valley and another unofficial Saturday, he boasts a better sense than most. He wouldn't say where Penn State currently ranks, other than to acknowledge the school remains in his top 5, but he came away impressed.

"That atmosphere was loud. I hadn't seen a Penn State game like that since -- actually, not even last year when I went," he said. "It wasn't as hype since two years ago when I saw them play Michigan. This was the most hype game since then. They definitely reached another level."

The visit was enough to convince Issah he made the right decision in scheduling an official visit to Penn State. He'll now join a growing number of Penn State commits and recruits who plan to arrive in Happy Valley on Dec. 7.

He also pledged to spend an official on Oregon, but that won't come until sometime after his senior season ends. The state championships are held Dec. 14-15.

"Oregon said I'm able to wait until then," Issah added.

Issah's uncertain whether he'll take other official visits. If Alabama or Miami (Fla.) decide to offer, he said he'd take officials there. He might also opt to see Arizona State.

But, at this point, the battle seems to be between Penn State and Oregon.

The 6-foot-3, 210-pound recruit -- whom PSU sees as a linebacker -- said he mostly chatted with some of his Central Dauphin friends (now Penn State freshmen) on Saturday. He lives less than a 90-minute drive from campus, so he already holds a good idea about the campus and facilities.

He was more interested in the game itself. And, although Penn State lost, Issah said one isolated slip-up won't affect his decision.

"Watching Mike Mauti and Gerald Hodges, it makes you want to be like them," Issah said,"and that's pretty cool."

Less than two months ago, amidst recurring questions about the sanctions, he wasn't so sure he would return on an official visit. But after seeing the Nittany Lions remain competitive, Issah -- who decommitted in early September -- decided to give them another shot.

He doesn't have a timetable for his decision, but he said one likely wouldn't come before his high school season ends or before those official visits.