Langhorne (Pa.) Neshaminy defensive tackle Tom McEowen (6-4, 270, 4.9) did the inevitable as he gave the Nittany Lions his verbal commitment.
“I just called Coach Mike McQueary a half hour ago and I told him, ‘Hey coach, I want to come to Penn State,’ ” McEowen said. “He said, ‘That’s awesome,’ and he went nuts and congratulated me.”
McEowen had intended on taking a trip to Penn State this weekend and then making a trip to Gainesville to visit the Florida Gators next weekend. But Monday, while Tom and his father Paul were out for dinner, he reached his decision.
“I kept thinking to myself I’m 10o percent sure I want to go to Penn State so why keep messing around,” McEowen said. “My dad and I went out tonight and he asked when I was going to make up my mind. I was going to do it Saturday when I went up there, and he said why not do it now, so I did.”
McEowen will still make the trip to University Park this weekend to see one of his best friends, PSU freshman-to-be kicker Kevin Kelly.
“I called Kevin as soon as I did it. He’s real happy I’m coming there.”
McEowen chose the Nittany Lions over Florida, but the Gators left an impression on him.
“I can’t say one bad thing about Florida, Coach [Urban] Meyer is great, but I knew I wanted to go to Penn State.”
Tom’s father Paul is a big influence on his son, so he was understandably excited.
“I grew up loving Penn State, there are tons of kids from Neshaminy who go there,” the younger McEowen said. “My dad wanted me to make the right choice for me not because I had to do it. He sort of played devil’s advocate, he would talk good about the other teams just to force me to make up my own mind. He just wanted me to make my choice for the right reasons.
McEowen will be canceling his visit to Gainesville.
“As much as I’d still like to go see that state, I’m not going to go now.”
In 2004, McEowen tallied 89 tackles, 15 tackles for loss, five sacks and two forced fumbles as a junior. He earned first-team All-League as a sophomore/junior, Courier-Times Golden first-team, and SE PA SOL Golden 11 Junior honors.