Mass. prep star commits to Penn State for 2012

Posted: August 13, 2011

THERE IS AN old saying: "He who hesitates is lost."

And that certainly appeared to be true for Penn State, which started slowly in signing high school players for its recruiting class of 2011. The Nittany Lions had only four oral commitments by mid-October 2010, but the coaching staff showed a strong finishing kick, rounding up 16 players overall on national signing day last Feb. 2. That group was rated 34th nationally by, 37th by

And with yesterday's oral commitment by two-way star Armani Reeves, of Catholic Memorial High in West Roxbury, Mass., the Lions already have 16 players in their 2012 recruting class.

The 5-10, 185-pound Reeves, a four-star player who plays defensive back and wide receiver at Catholic Memorial, projects mostly as a contributor in the secondary, but was told he will get an opportunity to play both offense and defense.

"Being recruited as a defensive back and wide receiver was important," Reeves told Blue White Illustrated, adding that the commitment to Penn State last week by one of his Catholic Memorial teammates, four-star linebacker Camren Williams, factored into his decision.

It's a well-known fact that Penn State coach Joe Paterno, 84, no longer goes on the road to recruit, but he can still close the deal with players who at least make official visits to Happy Valley.

Reeves, who announced his decision yesterday at a news conference at Catholic Memorial, said that, besides being told he'd have a chance to play both ways and Williams also choosing Penn State, he was awestruck to be in the presence of the living legend.

"He's a pretty old guy, but he's really energetic," Reeves said. "It's an honor to commit to a coach like that and to play for him."

Since he was run into by wide receiver Devon Smith at practice Sunday, injuring his right shoulder, hip and pelvis, Paterno, who has since returned to practice, has also welcomed wide receiver Eugene Lewis (Wyoming Valley West High in Plymouth, Pa.) and defensive tackle Tommy Schutt (Glenbard West High in Glen Ellyn, Ill.), both of whom committed on Wednesday.

Hoops news

D.J. Newbill, a former first-team Daily News All-City basketball pick at Strawberry Mansion who played one season at Southern Mississippi, is transferring to Penn State. Newbill averaged 9.2 points, 6.2 rebounds and 1.6 assists as a freshman at Southern Miss, and will have 3 years of eligibility remaining.

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