||Mechanicsburg, PA (Cumberland Valley HS)|
On Tuesday (June 24th), the Nittany Lions continued their tremendous recruiting
success, nabbing verbal commitment #10. Like commitments #8 (Jed Hill) and
#9 (Mike Lucian), #10 also came from somewhere out in left field. But
not because no one had heard of the player (ranked #13 in the state);
because LionNews talked with him on June 19th and he did not seem ready to
commit. No matter though, because Cumberland Valley HS fullback Dan
Lawlor is now a Nittany Lion.
Dan and his family decided to drive up to Penn State on Tuesday afternoon
after Dan felt it was time to become a Nittany Lion. Although the Lawlors
called ahead to inform the Penn State coaches they were driving up, did he
give them indication of why they were coming?
"I wanted to tell them in person, rather than on the phone. I
told them I was coming up and I think they knew the reason why. So
I just told them and it went really well," said Dan.
When he arrived at Penn State, how did Dan give them the news of his commitment?
"We went to Coach Paterno's office, we had a little meeting, and I told him
I was going to come play football for him," said Dan, who brought along his
parents and one his brothers. "He was really thrilled and so was the coaching
staff. It was really nice."
Although Coach Larry Johnson was the man in charge of Dan's recruitment,
Dan also had the chance to talk with Coach Fran Ganter, who'll be coaching
him on offense during his career at Penn State.
"He was really thrilled that I'm going to be going there. He just told
me welcome aboard and welcome to the family," said Dan of Coach Ganter's
reaction. "He told me I would receiving the ball, running the ball,
and blocking like any other fullback would."
Did Coach Ganter give him any indication he would be the lone fullback taken
in this class?
"I don't know," admitted Dan. "The first commitment (Matt Hahn) they had is a tailback
slash fullback, but Coach Ganter told me he is more of a tailback."
With his decision to attend school at Penn State, Dan joins current teammate
Wyatt Bowman as part of the Nittany Lion family. Did Wyatt have an influence
on Dan's decision to become a Nittany Lion?
"Not really. He was in my ear a lot about Penn State. He didn't
influence me into going there. It was my decision and I was really
comfortable with it," explained Dan, who jokingly called Wyatt the "Penn
"Each time I went up there I was taking in more and more things about Penn
State. Everything about it fits perfectly with me, so I'm really comfortable
with my decision."
Many people speculated that Dan was Notre Dame's to lose if they offered
him a scholarship. Was that a correct assumption on the part of many
"I went and visited there. They said they don't offer early scholarships,
so that's why they didn't offer. But I was still really interested,"
said Dan. "I didn't connect with it as well as I did with Penn State.
If they both offered I would have still went with Penn State."
Dan is already qualified to play as a freshman. Now that his final
decision has been made, both he and Wyatt will turn their attention to their
senior season at Cumberland Valley; a season which they hope turns out better
than their 8-2 record of last year.
"Last year was kind of a rebuilding year because the year before that we
had 23 seniors. We lost our whole defense and most of our offense.
So we had to rebuild most of what we had," explained Dan.
With two class kids and terrific athletes like Dan and Wyatt, great things
are definitely in Cumberland Valley's future.
(Interview by Steve Curry)