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Sunday, February 24, 2013
Offer vaults PSU into Davis' top three

By Josh Moyer

Anthony Davis could feel his heart beating faster. He admitted he was a little nervous because he thought he might grab a scholarship offer -- but he didn't want to jump to conclusions.

Bill O'Brien ushered the Monroeville (Pa.) Gateway prospect inside his office during Saturday's junior day. Davis first looked past the office's open blinds at the rolling mountains. He and his father took a seat on a white couch, while the AT&T ESPN Coach of the Year told them to make themselves comfortable. The recruit leaned back and tried his best.

The dimple-chinned coach told Davis, whom the Lions are recruiting as a safety, and his father that he personally had looked at the DB's highlight tape -- and he was impressed. "We'd love you at Penn State," Davis remembers O'Brien saying.

O'Brien told him the Lions need a safety and that there is a good chance he wouldn't redshirt. He concluded by offering the in-state product a full scholarship and clarifying that the sanctions mean the Nittany Lions will be eligible for at least two bowls during his college career.

"I told him thank you, and that I could definitely see myself playing there in the future," Davis said. "They're definitely in my top three right now, with West Virginia and Temple."

O'Brien, sitting in a desk chair, maintained a serious tone throughout the 15-minute conversation. Davis said his father appreciated the coach's emphasis on academics, and the junior tried to envision himself on campus, going to school there.

He wants to enroll at a school that's not in his backyard but isn't too far from home. He said PSU fits the bill in that respect.

"I just want to be comfortable," Davis said, "and I was definitely comfortable at Penn State."

He visited the weight room, spoke to some players who were there for workouts, and chatted with Gateway teammate Montae Nicholson -- who already holds a PSU offer. Davis is already planning an April 20 return to Happy Valley for the annual Blue-White Game and said that, overall, his visit exceeded expectations.

"I heard good things about Penn State, but nothing compared to when I went there," he said. "From the time you went there and saw the names on the walls and all the pictures, I was just impressed. The size of everything just overwhelmed me; it was just like huge everywhere. It was great."