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Sunday, October 13, 2013
Recruits still abuzz over Penn State win

By Brad Bournival and Tom VanHaaren

Very few, if any, in attendance at Beaver Stadium will ever forget Penn State’s 43-40 four-overtime win over nationally ranked Michigan on Saturday.

Especially the recruits.

The Nittany Lions put together quite an impressive list of visitors -- both official and unofficial -- and then put on a show for the ages. Speaking with recruits such as Penn State commit De'Andre Thompkins (Swansboro, N.C./Swansboro), it's clear this was a game they would never forget. And for targets like ESPN Junior 300 linebacker Chris Green (Toledo, Ohio/Central Catholic), it's one that could play a big role in their recruitments moving forward.

Here's what recruits were saying after Penn State's epic win:

De'Andre Thompkins
De'Andre Thompkins was amazed with the atmosphere during Penn State's incredible four-overtime win over Michigan.
“The atmosphere was insane! It was amazing. Both teams didn’t quit and it was a battle until the end. You can see the heart of the players throughout the game. It was ridiculous. Everybody I went with can’t talk right now because they lost their voices.” -- Thompkins, the No. 55 player in the ESPN 300.

“I loved it. It was my first college experience. When I got there, seeing all the students and tailgaters, it was nothing like my high school. Being on the field, I couldn’t stop smiling. The people set it up very well and told me a lot of stuff about the football routine. Just the vibe of being there, it felt like I was in the game.” -- Green, the No. 91 player in the ESPN Junior 300.

“The atmosphere was incredible. It was the loudest stadium I've ever been to. The best part of the trip had to be the way the game finished. Penn State showed incredible heart and toughness when it mattered most.” -- Reagan Williams (Jackson, Ohio/Jackson), No. 245 in the ESPN Junior 300.

“Throughout the whole game, the atmosphere was crazy. I’ll remember how the players and the fans never gave up and fought until the end.” -- Irvin Charles (Haddonfield, N.J./Paul VI), No. 296 in the ESPN Junior 300.

“The atmosphere before the game was great. How passionate the people were, it was really great positivity. I’ve never been in an atmosphere like that. It was great. I will remember being on the sidelines the most and watching the players warm up and seeing the student section because of the energy it gave me. It made me want to be on that field right then and there.” -- Syracuse commit Jason Cabinda (Flemington, N.J./Hunterdon Central), who was at Penn State on an unofficial visit.

And here's what recruits were saying on Twitter before, during and after the game:

Three-star 2014 tight end Mike Gesicki (Manahawkin, N.J./Southern Regional), who had recently visited Ohio State as well.
On the field at Beaver Stadium for the Penn State vs Michigan game with my doggs baileyboo_50…

— MG (@mikegesicki) October 12, 2013


Some of the 2015 prospects visiting included ESPN Junior 300 athlete David Dowell (Lakewood, Ohio/St. Edward) and his twin brother, Andrew. Dowell also tweeted that it was the best game he has ever been to.


— David Dowell (@_DWell18) October 12, 2013

Tight end C.J. Conrad (LaGrange, Ohio/Keystone) was a recruit who said he would be watching both teams. Conrad came away impressed. The Michigan coaching staff is trying to get him to Ann Arbor, but it will take a lot to beat out the night he experienced in Happy Valley.

I can't believe I witnessed that. Craziest game iv seen in person. Loving penn state!!

— cj conrad (@cjconrad1) October 13, 2013

Green had the tone set for his recruitment with this visit.

Had a great time and great experience at Penn State #LinebackerU

— Chris Green (@BigDaddyGreen45) October 13, 2013

Since the Nittany Lions have always been known for good linebacker play, it’s no surprise yet another was blown away by what he saw.

Amazing experience at Penn State. Greatest game I've ever witnessed.

— Reagan Williams (@RWilliams_6) October 13, 2013

It wasn’t just recruits at the game who were paying attention, though. Since the game went to four overtimes, it gained attention from those watching on TV as well, including ESPN Junior 300 defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick (Jersey City, N.J./St. Peter’s Prep).

Wish I was at this game

— minkah fitzpatrick (@minkfitz_21) October 13, 2013

One of the bigger 2015 targets in the seats for both Penn State and Michigan was ESPN Junior 300 offensive lineman Sterling Jenkins (Pittsburgh/Baldwin). The 6-foot-8, 290-pounder said he would be watching both teams during the game.

Watching two of my top schools face off was phenomenal. Amazing game

— Sterling Jenkinsí" (@S_Jenkins72) October 13, 2013