Pa. QB Picks Penn State

Pat Devlin.

As thousands of Penn State fans crammed FightOnState.com message boards and chat rooms awaiting a decision from Pat Devlin, some felt it was a lost cause, while others felt it was only a matter of time. Well, the time has come: Monday night Devlin made it official; he is going to be a Nittany Lion. FOS talks to him about his decision.

Pat Devlin may have broken the hearts of the Miami faithful when he decided to look around, but his decision figured to have quite the opposite effect on the Nittany Lion faithful. On Monday night Devlin, the highly touted four-star quarterback from Downingtown (Pa.) East High, committed to Penn State after originally giving his verbal to the Hurricanes.

“I called Coach (Joe) Paterno last night and I told him that I'd like to accept the scholarship,” Devlin said. “Coach (Larry) Coker (of Miami) is a great guy and he wished me the best of luck.”

Most fans had assumed that Penn State stayed on the talented gun slinger ever since he made his original choice last summer, but Devlin says that wasn't the case.

“During the time when I was committed to Miami most schools understood that I was firm,” Devlin said. “Once the coaches got fired (at Miami), I contacted the Miami staff and told them I was going to look elsewhere. I then contacted Penn State. I wanted to go into a situation with stability and success, a program that always does the right things, and I have always admired that.”

One would think that growing up a Penn State fan and having the well-documented ties to the university, Devlin had to always have Penn State in the back of his mind, right?

“I was firm to Miami,” he insisted. “I was caught up in the whole Miami mystique. I liked it down there and I got real comfortable with the coaches.”

But that change when Coker cleaned house on his staff shortly after the 2005 season. Devlin re-opened his recruitment and decided to make an official visit to Penn State last weekend.

It's safe to say Devlin had a great time on his trip to Happy Valley.

“It went great,” he said. “I got to do a lot of things there that I hadn't experienced before. I got a totally different look at Penn State. My host was A.Q. Shipley and he was great, he showed me a good time.”

Being such a highly touted quarterback will bring pressure and expectations. What is Devlin expecting when he enters the Penn State program as a freshman?

“I plan on working hard,” he said. “The staff has made me no promises and I wouldn't want to play for a team that promises anything. I'm going to go there and work as hard as I can and learn from (Anthony) Morelli.”

A lot of the recent recruiting also centers on star receiver Vidal Hazelton, who has been rethinking his prior commitment to USC. Devlin and Hazelton are already acquaintances from their time being recruited by the Hurricanes. Will the talented signal caller turn recruiter and try to snag the nation's No. 1 wide receiver?

“I plan on talking to him today,” Devlin said. “I'm going to tell him PSU is about academics, athletics and integrity. You can play in front of big crowds with great students. The students are wild there. I want to be a part of something special and I would love to have him with me.”

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