Tuesday, June 25, 2013
Q&A: WR Jefferson talks PSU, recruitment
By Josh Moyer
Class of 2015 wideout Van Jefferson (Brentwood, Tenn./Ravenwood) started hearing from Penn State in the middle of last season before he transferred from Orchard Lake (Mich.) St. Mary's, the same school as Rob Bolden and Allen Robinson.
He received an offer after an impressive performance at Saturday's advanced skills camp, and NittanyNation recently caught up with him to ask about PSU and his recruitment.
NittanyNation: Why did you decide to fly to State College for a camp? Was it because you were already interested or because you thought you had a good chance at an offer?
Van Jefferson: It was pretty much both. When we decided to come to Penn State, me and my dad were just thinking that, 'Maybe they'll offer you, maybe not.' So it's like, let them see my talents and what I can do and stuff. So, getting an offer from Penn State, it was a plus for me because I was pretty excited about it. It was very humbling.
NN: Was this your first time on campus? What were your overall impressions of the university?
VJ: Oh, well, I've been to Penn State before. My sister went to the volleyball camp, but I didn't get to see football then. It was bigger than I expected, because when we were at volleyball, we were only around a certain area. So, we were like, 'Woah, this is a pretty big school.' [Laughs] We got lost around campus when we were walking. Compared to, say, Arkansas, I think Penn State is way bigger. It's a pretty big campus.
And the stadium, when we first saw the stadium -- just from watching it on TV and stuff like that, it's really cool, especially when they played Ohio State and they wear all white -- that's what got me going. We saw the big stadium, and I was just wondering how many kids they can fit in it, especially for a night game. I would love to come out of that tunnel seeing all white. That got me.
NN: Well, we know where you stand with PSU, since the staff told you it wants you to be part of the team. But where does PSU stand with you?
VJ: Penn State, they stand very high with me. They're probably at the top of my list. I love that school; I love everything about the school. Allen Robinson is talking to me and stuff like that, telling me more about the school. And I'm listening to him, because he's one of the best receivers in college football. So I'm taking his advice -- so they're up there.
NN: What did Robinson tell you that really stuck with you?
VJ: He was just telling me to keep working hard. Just because I have these offers, there's no reason I should stop working. You always need to keep working -- he's telling me that while I'm talking to him. He was telling me how, when you're in front of the DB, you just attack them. You got to attack every game. He's been a great mentor to me. I take in everything he tells me. He's great.
NN: Besides getting that first Big Ten offer, what was your favorite part of the weekend?
VJ: My favorite part of the whole thing was meeting Coach [Bill] O'Brien. I remember him from the pros, coaching Tom Brady and stuff like that. I heard a lot about him. That was the best part of the whole camp, talking to him.
He said he really wanted me at the school, that he wants to coach me and stuff like that. That really stuck out to me. He has a very good demeanor about him, and he's a straightforward guy -- and that's just like my dad is. It was pretty cool.
NN: What are your priorities in a school?
VJ: Well, first is academics. When I go to school, I want to major in meteorology, so I have to look at that. And I know Penn State has a very good program. And I also want to go to a school that throws the ball. I'm a receiver; I don't want to have to wait to get the ball. I like to catch the ball; I don't want to be in an offense where they run it like 75 percent of the time. I want to go to a school that's going to throw the rock.
NN: Where do you go from here, in your recruitment?
VJ: Well, first, I'm going to a July 7 camp that'll have the best players in the country. So I have to come ready with my mind right. Then, after that, Arkansas and Tennessee want me to come to their camp. And, after that, it's just getting back on the ground with my team. We're aiming for a state championship, so it's all about the team. We're going to go out there and get it.