Penn State Nittany Lions: Why I chose PSU

Andrew Nelson column: Why I chose PSU

February, 14, 2013
NittanyNation recently asked four-star offensive tackle Andrew Nelson (Hershey, Pa./Hershey) to explain, in his own words, why he decided to commit to Penn State. The below article is written entirely by Nelson without any help from ESPN.

A number of high school football players, through hard work and dedication, earn the opportunity to be recruited by the nation’s top football universities during their high school football careers. I, by the grace of God, was one of those players.

For many, the recruiting process includes trips all over the nation to visit universities, compiling lists of pros and cons for every school, and many hours spent with parents deciding what’s best for the student-athlete’s future. While some of this went on during my recruiting process, the decision of which university I would choose came much easier for me than for most recruits. My decision to go to Penn State was influenced by many things; a great education, a quality coaching staff, and relationships are three areas that were unmatched at Penn State.

First is the education. While some athletes might look past the degree, my parents instilled in me that football will end someday for everybody -- and when that day comes, it’s what you know that will make you successful. So, during my recruiting, I always tried to keep my eye on the prize, which is the value of education.

Through the Penn State recruiting process, it was easy to see that education came first. I still remember back to my Junior Day at Penn State when we sat and talked with the academic advisors at PSU longer than we did with any of the coaches. That’s something I really appreciate about Penn State; it knows that the education comes first. At a highly esteemed institution such at Penn State, the degree I will walk away with is almost priceless. So, once I found out they offered my major, kinesiology, I knew the education would be unmatched.

Second is the coaching staff, another category where I believe Penn State is unmatched. When it came to the coaching staff, I focused on which staff could best develop me as a player and, more importantly, a young man of character. If there was any staff that could develop me best as a player and into possible NFL material, it is Penn State. Coach [Bill] O’Brien and Coach Mac [McWhorter] have come from very highly esteemed football programs before coming to Penn State, so I know that they’re experts on what it takes to make me the best.

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