Honesty the Best Policy for Hudanick

The western Pennsylvania offensive lineman liked Penn State's up-front approach on his unofficial visit to University Park.

Tyler Hudanick did not leave Penn State with an offer Wednesday. But he did depart with a sense of where he stands with the Nittany Lions.

The 6-foot-4, 286-pound offensive lineman from Harmony (Pa.) Seneca Valley was unable to make Junior Day a few weekends back, but quickly arranged with Lions' corners coach Terry Smith to get on campus. Those conversations resulted with Wednesday's trip.

"I walked in the front door [of the Lasch Building] and it was like a wedding reception," Hudanick said. "[Head] Coach [James] Franklin was there at the beginning, and every coach was there.

"I got to sit with Coach Smith and talk to him for a little bit, and also got to sit down with the offensive line coach [Herb Hand] and see where I stand."

Penn State already has one lineman committed in Warminster (Pa.) Archbishop Wood tackle Ryan Bates, and is in hot pursuit of Pittsburgh (Pa.) Baldwin tackle Sterling Jenkins, among others.

Those recruitments led Hand to inform Hudanick that the program is still calculating where it is numbers- and scholarship-wise in the Class of 2015, an honest approach the lineman said he appreciated.

"He said right now they're trying to take either four or five lineman in this class, and they already have one committed," Hudanick said. "They have a real big need for tackles, and they said because of my size, I'm a combo guy and more like a guard.

"They said they are recruiting me as an inside guy, and as I progress, I could be a tackle. They are big on tackles, and they said they need to see what guys work out in the spring. They were all honest with me, and I like it that way."

When he wasn't meeting with coaches, the lineman said he toured University Park, ate lunch at the HUB, and swung by Beaver Stadium. While most visitors see all of those features for the first time, the stops were more of a review, Hudanick said.

He has his mom to thank for that, he said, as multiple family members on her side of the family are Penn State alums.

"We went to the HUB to eat, and that was kind of cool," Hudanick said. "I've been to campus many times. I was at the Purdue game and camp last summer.

"Every time I get there, I keep getting familiar with where things are and getting around. I like how it's one big family there."

Through his conversations with Franklin, Smith and Hand, Hudanick said he caught onto the family mindset Penn State has been pushing to recruits. He also got a better feel for the new staff, most of which he met for the first time.

"He's a pretty cool guy," Hudanick said of Smith. "He recruited me when he was at Temple, and we're pretty much alike because he's a western Pennsylvania guy, too. Coach Franklin seemed like a real laid-back guy. He basically didn't seem like some coaches that walk in with this strut like, ‘I'm the head coach at Big University.' He seemed like a down-to-earth kind of guy, and he was very classy. The whole staff treated me well.

"It was pretty cool to see they were honest from the beginning."

Hudanick plans to return for either a spring practice or Penn State's Blue-White Game April 12 on the invite of Hand, who also informed him they'd talk more X's and O's then.

The lineman may return to camp this summer, as well, but he's waiting to see where the staff directs him. Whichever way it is, it's a direction he'll trust after spending a day with the Lions.

"Overall it was a good experience," Hudanick said. "I hope the coaches got a good first impression meeting me in person, and overall, it was still a good visit.

"What I saw was very impressive. They are a very well-rounded group of coaches. I'd love to be under their wing some day."

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