Linebacker Dwight Williams (Gardena, Calif./Junipero Serra) realized Penn State was known as "Linebacker U" -- but he didn't think he'd get recruited from the university more than 2,500 miles away.
That changed Sunday when the junior received a Facebook message from Nittany Lions assistant Charles London.
"He said they've been watching me lately and that they'll keep an eye out," the ESPN Watch List prospect said. "Now that he knows I'm interested, he said they'll come a little harder. They didn't before because they had limited scholarships."
Williams, who doesn't yet hold a PSU offer, said he's not bothered with the distance from his home, and he doesn't mind the sanctions. His two priorities include academics and the coaching staff, and he's impressed with Penn State's reputation.
"Oh yeah," he said. "I know that's a good program over there."
He spoke with PSU commit Christian Hackenberg (Fork Union, Va./Fork Union) about the university, and Hackenberg tweeted out Williams' interest. Since then, Williams said with a laugh he's heard nonstop from Penn State fans.
Some will tell him about the squad's storied history; others will produce stats to back up the "Linebacker U" reputation. And many have continuously pointed to San Francisco linebacker NaVorro Bowman -- he's a fan of the 49ers -- and Dallas LB Sean Lee as examples of what he could become.
The 6-foot-2, 205-pound Williams didn't have immediate plans to visit Happy Valley. Because of the distance, he said his plan would likely entail waiting for an offer -- and possibly taking an official visit next season.
He already holds offers from Colorado, Oregon State and UCLA. And he said he's hearing the most from Georgia, Mississippi State and Arizona State.
"I don't really have any top schools, so every school's pretty much even," Williams said.