Quarterback Jack Seymour (Indianapolis/Park Tudor) committed to Penn State as a preferred walk-on Wednesday night despite receiving scholarship offers from several FBS schools.
NittanyNation recently spoke with Seymour at length about his decision and why he chose PSU over other destinations.
NittanyNation: First, let me ask you the question that everyone wants to know. You had scholarships from Ball State and Western Michigan, so why choose to walk-on to PSU?
Jack Seymour: Well, I met some good coaches from Ball State -- like Coach [Rich] Skrosky -- and those are some of the best coaches I talked to. But Ball State, the school and football, it just wasn't the right fit. And at Ball State, I probably would've played earlier and the same with Western Michigan and Southern Illinois, but it didn't seem like the right fit.
When Penn State came along, it was perfect for me. At other schools, I probably would've played earlier. But with Penn State's academics, the football, the coaches -- everything -- I wanted to go there.
NN: You were the last weekend for "Run-on Day." Was there something there that kind of pushed you a little bit more to Penn State's direction, that made it feel like that right fit?
JS: Well, the whole day, they said no matter what -- if you're a preferred walk-on or another player -- everyone's treated the same. So that was a big thing, knowing there was no difference between me and that. I can compete, and that's what I'm eager for. To see what a great guy [Bill] O'Brien was -- and I can't say enough good things about him -- it just really is the perfect fit. He said he wanted me and to know I could earn my spot, wherever that may be, and that's big.
We flew in the day before, and we got a chance to see the campus. I got dinner at the Allen Street Grill, and everything was so cool. You could see how nice the area was. We met so many people and, after talking a little bit, they realized we were there for football. And it was amazing how open everyone was, even like the shop owners and stuff. So the visit was great.
NN: O'Brien talked to you about that preferred walk-on offer on Sunday. What was it like to get that?
JS: I guess it was joy, relief to know that the offer's on the table. It didn't take long to know Penn State was where I wanted to spend the next four years of my life. It only took me a few days to finalize it.
I mean, I really didn't know a lot about Penn State before. I never knew it would be a possibility until I got a call from Coach [Charlie] Fisher to really have that possibility. And it's just motivating to know I can go in over the summer and compete and work hard. The whole thing is motivating.
NN: Your high school, Park Tudor, is known for being great academically -- but it isn't known as a football school. Did you ever think about playing elsewhere and maybe trying to improve your stock?
JS: I mean, obviously, eighth grade, coming into high school football, it was always a possibility to for me to transfer to bigger schools. But I really didn't want to leave, and I wanted to do whatever I could to help the program here. It got to the point that I didn't care about [my stock]; I wanted to become a leader and start a program and make a difference. My goal my first year was to be a D-I quarterback. We had a guy go to Army, but I wanted to be the first D-I quarterback out of my high school.
NN: What was it like to finally commit and be able to tell people you're going to play football at Penn State? Was anyone surprised?
JS: It was good to know where I was going, and everyone around me was so happy for me. Obviously, there were a few people around me who were a little skeptical, but it's been motivation for me. In sixth grade, I remember we had to say what we wanted to be -- I wanted to be a football player, in NFL and college -- and my French teacher said that wasn't going to happen.
She laughed. That made me just want to work even harder. I'm not one to hold grudges, it was just always in the back of my mind, and there's always people who say you can't do something. It's just a small thing.