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Wednesday, April 3, 2013
DL Ryan Stout reflects on PSU, visits

By Josh Moyer

Ryan Stout (Sylvania, Ohio/Southview) doesn't surf the web on his cell phone or turn up the radio once he has finished an unofficial visit. Most times, he'll just stare out the window and reflect on the school and how it compares to others.

It's those quiet times that help the defensive lineman decide what schools are sticking out. And he was up to that again Tuesday evening, sitting shotgun in his family's silver car, during the two-hour drive back home from Michigan State.

He didn't just think about the Spartans on Tuesday. He was thinking about all his visits and comparing them inside his head -- Penn State, Illinois, West Virginia, Indiana, Toledo, Bowling Green, Purdue, Western Michigan. Tuesday's drive might be his final trip for the spring, so he had plenty to ponder.

With five offers from MAC schools, he wasn't about to publicly start naming favorites. He's still trying to earn more offers before trimming his list, so he wasn't comfortable rating one visit over another. But he didn't shy away from praising Penn State two weeks after his visit, after he had time to properly reflect on the trip during those car rides.

"I am very interested in them," said Stout, whom PSU wants as a defensive tackle. "I really like the campus and just everything. I've heard so many things about them and how dedicated the fans are, so I'm pretty interested."

His favorite part of that visit was the up-tempo practice, and he said that's something that made PSU unique compared to other visits. But, if there's one thing Penn State had that others didn't, Stout said he'd probably have to go with the campus.

He took a tour around University Park and enjoyed the stone and brick buildings, manicured lawns and how everything wasn't too spread out or too close together. That's what really helped separate Penn State, he said.

"The entire campus is really nice," said Stout, who made 81 tackles and 12 sacks as a junior. "I went to one or two sad-looking campuses, but I really liked how Penn State's was set up."

Stout is trying to find a school that feels like home, a place with good academics, a tight-knit team and a nice campus. He's still in the fact-gathering stage of his recruitment, but he acknowledged the Nittany Lions were in good shape.

He didn't broach the topic of a scholarship offer while he was in Happy Valley. But the staff invited him to its one-day camp over the summer, and Stout is hoping to impress them there and add another school to his offer sheet.

"They've been showing interest in me since December or January," Stout said. "So, yeah, I definitely want to come back for their camp and everything."

Stout, whom most teams are looking at as a defensive end, said there's a chance he might see Northwestern before the spring ends. He's just not sure yet. If not, he wants to take the next few weeks to continue comparing, schedule those summer camps and take it from there.

Tuesday night was just the beginning of another step.

"I'm just taking it all in," he said. "I'm just trying to evaluate all my choices. I'm still trying to get some more offers and get a few more options, so I don't know where I'll end up committing or anything. I just want to make sure I make the right decision."