Gerald Cadogan, a huge offensive tackle from Portsmouth, Ohio, made a verbal commitment to Penn State on Friday. Only half-way through the current recruiting season, Cadogan becomes Penn State's 17th known commitment. He talks about his decision to become a Nittany Lion.
||Portsmouth HS, Portsmouth, OH|
"Yes, that's correct," Gerald said when asked if the rumors of his commitment to Penn State were true. "It was 1:30 today (Friday). I talked to Jay Paterno for about 20 minutes or so. I asked him if the offer was still on the table and I told him that I'd like to commit to Penn State and then he got the linemen coach (Bill Kenney). He just talked to me about how he wanted me to come up there and see a game. They were pretty excited."
Gerald chose the Nittany Lions over 12 other schools that had offered him a scholarship. The eleven he could recite from memory were Boston College, Wake Forest, Miami of Ohio, Ohio University, Northwestern, Kent State, Toledo, South Carolina, Stanford, Michigan and Louisville.
"The balance of academics and athletics put [Penn State] over the other colleges."
Recently, Cadogan had been leaning towards The University of Michigan until the revelation of Penn State's outstanding graduation rates put the Nittany Lions ahead for good.
"I wasn't sure where I was going to go, so I was just listing the pros and cons and Penn State came out on top. You can't go wrong with either school, but Penn State a little more focus on academics. I'm planning to major in Biology, Pre-Med."
Cadogan attended the Blue-White game back in April and participated in the Penn State Nike Camp the following day. The Nittany Lion coaching staff, obviously impressed by what they saw, told him in May that they planned to offer him. After receiving a written offer from Penn State on June 26, he returned to State College for another look.
"I took an unofficial visit when they had the camp up there. I believe it was the first week of July. It was before the 4th of July, it might have been the 2nd or 3rd. We were on our way to New York and we just stopped by for an unofficial. I got to talk to the linemen coach (Kenney) and I got to talk to Jay. They were just giving me statistics on Penn State and how they rank with other Big 10 schools, basically research information that I needed to know [on which] to base my decision."
Gerald also took visits to Wake Forest, Boston College, Harvard, Northwestern, Michigan, Ohio State and Indiana. The home-state Buckeyes had not yet offered him a scholarship.
"They were recruiting me hard, but I was just considering the people that had offered me, [offers] that I had in writing."
Penn State's coaching staff is happy to have the big man in the fold.
"They said they liked my footwork and how I'm mobile and fast, my speed."
At 6'7", 305 pounds, is it possible Gerald could get even bigger?
"On my mom's side of the family, all the men, after they graduate high school, usually hit one more growth spurt. So, I'm hoping to follow suit."
Growth spurt or not, Gerald has all the tools to be special both on and off the field.