JRZ Talks About PSU Visit

J.R. Zwierzynski

J.R. Zwierzynski of Joliet Catholic in Illinois took an official visit to Happy Valley this past weekend. He talks about his visit and where he is in the recruiting process.

Name: J.R. Zwierzynski
Position: RB
Height: 6'3"
Weight: 225 pounds
40-yard dash: 4.5
Bench Press: 290 pounds
School: Joliet Catholic Academy, Joliet, Illinois (currently 6-1)

"It was pretty good," J.R. said in an up-beat way.  "I was real impressed with their facility, their film rooms, their weight facilities and the stadium.

"R.J. Luke was my host, he's a good guy.

"I got to talk to some academic advisors.  I went to the volleyball arena because there's a girl from my school (Sam Tortorello) that committed there.  We're good friends.  She's in the same grade as me.

"There's this stadium box that they have where we had dinner in the stadium.

"I talked to Joe Paterno and had a good conversation with him.  He's a good guy, real up-front.  He's not going to BS you about anything.  He just said that they needed some linebackers and that I was a priority that they needed.  He said that he was going to be around for a little bit longer, but he wasn't making any promises as to how long he was going to be there.  He was hoping to finish out his contract which is 3 more years.  He just said that he needed some players that would fit in pretty well."

Coach Vanderlinden is recruiting J.R..

"Coach Vanderlinden was at my house earlier in the week.  That was Tuesday I think.  He really knows his stuff.  He's the linebacker coach and I'm being recruited as a linebacker.  He's a good guy too.

"They said that they are recruiting 4 or 5 linebackers and that they need at least one that's going to be ready to play next year, that might get some time.  They just said that they are pretty thin at linebacker at this point in time and they need to get some quality guys coming in.  I think they said that they wanted to sign 2 running backs and 3 linebackers.

"They explained how they have a guy playing linebacker who can only play so many plays because he has a rare disease (Deryck Toles).  So, they need someone to be able to back him up.  They're also losing a couple of guys and they really need guys to be ready to play."

This was Jeremy's first visit to Penn State.  His mother went with him on the visit.

"I thought it was a very good visit.  I got to see the things I wanted to see and talked to the right people.  We'll just have to see.  I'll take some more visits to compare and contrast and see what happens at the end."

J.R. goes to Wisconsin this weekend, Northwestern on January 12 and Notre Dame is scheduled for January 19.

"The Notre Dame visit is still on as of right now.  Coach Mattison was over last Thursday and we talked about the whole situation, and that we just had to see what the coaching situation was going to be like and who was taking the job.  They're hanging on."

J.R. is not familiar with new Notre Dame Head Coach George O'Leary.

"I'm definitely going to have to look into that and see what type of offense they ran at Georgia Tech.  I have to talk to some guys and see how I would fit in there before I go on my official.  Then, I could determine if I would be able to fit into what they are trying to do offensively."

According to Jeremy, Notre Dame and Northwestern are recruiting him as a RB, Wisconsin is recruiting him as a RB/LB and Boston College is recruiting him as a LB.

"Lately, I've been leaning more towards defense, but we'll have to see.  College coaches and college players see me fitting in more as a linebacker kind of guy."

Michigan never offered Zwierzynski a scholarship and he has "not really" been in contact with them lately.  Notre Dame has not yet offered either. The previous coaching staff told him that they would most likely offer, but now that is uncertain due to the recent coaching changes.  Boston College, Wisconsin, Northwestern, Penn State and others have offered.

Does J.R. have a favorite at this time?

"Not really, I don't really know yet.  I'm going to make all my visits and list the pros and cons and then make my decision."

The Nittany Lions certainly have J.R.'s attention.

"I like them a lot.  I was very impressed with what they're doing there, their facilities and their way of coaching.  They were pretty up-front.

"I give [the visit] about an 8 [out of 10].  Just an 8 because I don't know what else is out there.  I'd rate it a little higher than Boston College."

October 16 J.R. Zwierzynski article

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