On Wednesday May 8, the Penn State Coaches Caravan stopped in Washington, D.C. and during the event Nittany Lions head coach James Franklin hinted at the possibility of good news out of the D.C. area on the recruiting front.
Just two days later, his words finally came to fruition when Washington, D.C. St. John's College High 2015 defensive back Ayron Monroe tweeted:
"TODAY I AM PROUD TO SAY THAT I AM OFFICIALLY COMMITTED TO PENN STATE UNIVERSITY #WEARE #PSUnrivaled #107kstrong."
Just minutes later in an interview with Scout.com, Monroe went in-depth on his big decision.
"I just got off phone with coach [James] Franklin, he was really excited," said Monroe, who chose the Nittany Lions over Maryland, Auburn, Nebraska, and Wisconsin, among others. "He just said that he was really thrilled to have me become part of the family. "
Maryland and Penn State were the two front-runners for the three-star athlete, but after serious consideration and talking with his family, Monroe did not want to drag out the recruiting process any longer.
"I have been thinking about making a decision for a while, and it was a tough choice between Maryland and Penn State," Monroe said. "Maryland is a great school I really like what they had to offer, but in the end of it all I just think Penn State was a better fit."
During the decision making process, Monroe continued to go back the feelings he had when he was on campus at Penn State, and the environment at State College.
"I just felt more comfortable there," Monroe said. "It was really the overall feeling of everything. It is a good school, good academics, and that was basically what put them over the top."
Monroe has built a strong bond with several members of the Nittany Lions staff, including his recruiter Charles Huff and defensive backs coach Bob Shoop, who made it clear to Monroe that he was their top pick at the safety position.
"They have been saying they see me fitting in at safety. I know they have a couple [defensive backs] graduating, and they see me being able to do well and eventually be able to step in and contribute," Monroe said. ""I actually just talked to coach [Charles] Huff too, he had just gotten off the plane when I called. He was really excited and happy about it."
James Franklin and his staff have already landed commitments from a number of highly-touted prospects from the DMV area, including: Quince Orchard (Gaithersburg, Md.) four-star defensive tackle Adam McLean, Gaithersburg (Md.) four-star defensive end Kamonte Carter, Briar Woods (Ashburn, Va.) four-star wide receiver Brandon Polk, and Bullis (Potomac, Md.) three-star defensive end Jonathan Holland, but Monroe said he came to this decision on his own.
"It was completely my decision," Monroe said. "Actually even if that [a lot of local commits] weren't the case, I would still have made the same decision."
Now that Monroe has finally picked a school, he is focused on improving his game and finishing out his high school career with a Washington Catholic Athletic Conference Championship.
"I feel excited, and now I can focus on the season coming up and winning a WCAC championship," Monroe said. "I am always working on my craft, I still workout with coach [Troy] Vincent and coach Roman [Morris, so I just basically want to improve all around as much as I can."
Monroe is a Nittany Lion
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