A familar face caught Ray Lawry's eye as he loosened up before tip-off last week.
Penn State assistant Ron Vanderlinden took a seat to watch the junior score 21 points in Woolwick Township (N.J.) Kingsway's 49-44 win over Oakcrest. Penn State commit Brandon Bell, an Oakcrest student, sat near the linebackers coach and shook his head as the 2014 tailback dismantled his school.
"I called him afterward, and he said I have good instincts and he wants to come out again," Lawry said about Vanderlinden. "He told me I showed a lot of explosiveness, and that's pretty much what he wanted to see."
The past two weeks have been a blur for Lawry. Vanderlinden stopped by his school, watched a basketball game and said he'd visit again soon. But Penn State wasn't the only school to show interest in the junior.
Lawry's been pulled out of class each day -- sometimes twice -- to speak with coaches from the likes of Pittsburgh, Rutgers and Maryland. He added an offer from the Terps last week.
"It's been crazy," he said. "I like all the attention but, yeah, I wasn't expecting it to be like this."
Despite the brighter spotlight and calls or letters from 17 teams, Lawry said he already boasts two favorites: Rutgers and Penn State. Those two have shown some of the most interest, and he's driven to both campuses several times.
"They're my favorites," he said. "I have good relationships with the schools there. I like the running backs coaches, I know the players, and it's not too far away that I can't come back home to see my family and friends. Plus, they can come watch me play."
Lawry said he'll likely commit during his senior season, but he wants to first take all of his official visits. He also hopes to visit more schools before the summer and mentioned Maryland, Rutgers and Penn State as possible destinations.
"I put my film on YouTube about a month ago," he said. "And, now that the season's over, it's just like they're all visiting now. It's great."