- Josh Moyer, ESPN Staff Writer
De'Niro Laster (Cleveland Heights, Ohio/Cleveland Heights) swears he isn't nervous about a potential Penn State offer.
He thinks one will come -- he hopes one might come -- but he's just trying not to spend this week daydreaming about the blue-and-white. He plans to shake hands with the coaching staff Nov. 17, during an unofficial visit for the PSU-Indiana game, and he believes he might just leave Happy Valley with that scholarship offer.
After all, PSU assistant Stan Hixon told the linebacker the entire coaching staff was impressed with his film -- but they just want to see him first.
"I feel like they're close to offering me, because they said the defensive staff likes me and he likes me," Laster said. "Coach Hixon said, right now, it's just meeting the coaches and everything, so they can see my size."
When asked if he would commit to Penn State if he earned that offer Saturday, Laster paused for a few moments before finding some middle ground.
"Well," he said, "it takes time. I know they would be very high on my list -- very, very high. But it takes time to talk it out with your family and everything. But they would be very high."
The 6-foot-2, 218-pound athlete holds eight offers, mostly from MAC schools, and Penn State would be the second Big Ten team to offer. Minnesota offered Thursday.
Some schools are recruiting him at tailback, tight end or wideout, others as a defensive back or linebacker. But Penn State strictly wants the versatile Ohio athlete as a student of Linebacker U.
And Laster is just fine with that.
"I've been playing linebacker all my life," he said. "Receiver is pretty fine, too, but I would say I just like playing football -- and I see myself as an outside linebacker. If I do go there, I wouldn't have a problem with it. I feel like I would be a very athletic linebacker with good hands."
Laster said he's not only unbothered by the sanctions -- but that the sanctions almost help Penn State. Because of those sanctions, he feels he could get more playing time at a larger school and also help the university rebound from a dark period.
Plus, he remained an admirer of Joe Paterno and Penn State's tradition.
"The sanctions are pretty bad," he said, "but Joe Paterno was considered one of the greatest coaches ever. And I would think a lot of recruits would go there and want to play in his name. I just think playing for them, representing them, would just be great."
5dMitch Sherman and Dan Murphy