|40 Yard Dash:||4.7 seconds|
|School:||Butler, Pa. (Butler HS)|
It has been said time and time again that linebackers will be a huge position of need for Penn State during this recruiting class. Last week, one of Pennsylvania's finest, Butler HS's Tyrell Sales, made his first visit to State College to see the campus. Did he visit turn out to be a positive experience?
"It was very nice. I got to check out all the facilities, like the weight room and indoor field (Holuba Hall). Then we went around with Coach Bradley and he gave us a tour of the campus. We had lunch at the Union to see what it's like with all the students around and then we went and watched the practice. We went over to the training table with the players and ate dinner over there. So, we pretty much went through a basic day. It was really nice," Tyrell admitted. "It was my first time out there, but people told me what to expect and it was really nice out there."
On the unofficial visit, Tyrell was joined by current Butler head coach Gary Cathell, linebacker coach, Chris Morrow, and legendary former head coach at Butler, Art Bernardi. The Penn State coaches made a point to invite Tyrell and some others (including Greg Harrison and signee Joel Holler) then because the ESPN College Gameday Crew taped a segment on Penn State's spring practice that day. Did Tyrell run into Chris (Fowler), the coach (Lee Corso), or the Quarterback (Kirk Herbstreit)?
"I got to meet Kirk Herbstreit. I talked to him a little bit. When we got there, they hadn't started taping yet, so he was just standing around. So, I got to talk to him for about 5 minutes or so. Then I went on an official tour of the stadium," said Tyrell.
What were his impressions of the newly renovated Beaver Stadium?
"It was huge. I went all the way up to the last seat at the top and it was so high. It's huge. When your on the field it doesn't seem like it's really that big because there are so many seats that there's not that much depth perception. Everything is the same color, so you can't see how high and how far back it goes," explained Tyrell. "But I wanted to see how big it really was and I went up to the last seat. And it's big."
During the visit, Tyrell had a chance to get to know the coaching staff, meeting most of them for the first time in person. Coach Bradley, in charge of recruiting western Pennsylvania, served as Tyrell's host for some of the day. What did Tyrell and Coach Bradley talk about during the day?
"I talked to him and Coach 'Van' (Vanderlinden) about the depth chart. Like who they have in there now and what kind of chance I'd have of playing," said Tyrell, who admitted he saw the potential for very early playing time at Penn State.
"(Playing time) looks pretty good. They're losing a bunch of guys to graduation and my freshman year there would be a lot of seniors. A lot of guys go there and redshirt, so it looks good to play there early," said Tyrell, who's being recruited at an outside linebacker position. "After next year there's nobody; my freshman year would be the last year they have anybody. They don't have many underclassman now, it's mostly just juniors and seniors."
Did Tyrell have the opportunity to meet Coach Paterno while he was in Happy Valley?
"We had a meeting with Coach Paterno. That was cool. I got to sit in his office and have a meeting," stated Tyrell. "One of the guys I went up with, (Art Benardi) and JoePa have been friends for a while. He used to coach at my high school so they've been friends for like 50 years. So all of us were talking about playing and what kind of future I would have up there."
Tyrell admitted that he would like to attend a Penn State game this fall, but because of a basketball tournament he will not be able to check out the Blue-White game. He also had to switch his commitment to Nike Camp, choosing to attend the May 17th clinic at Virginia Tech with his friend A.Q. Shipley.
Do the two WPIAL stars plan on attending the same college together?
"We're just kind of hanging out right now. That could happen in the future, but it depends on what we both are looking for. Wherever he goes, he can tell me what he thought and wherever I go, the same. We use each other for information," Tyrell admitted.
At this point, Tyrell still boasts offers from Pittsburgh, Penn State, Syracuse, West Virginia, and Maryland. Michigan has recently entered the picture, expressing an interest, but they have not offered.
Tyrell has been long rumored to be a Pittsburgh lean, but he admitted while he likes the Pitt coaches, they are currently just one of his favorites.
"Pitt was the first one, so I'm really familiar with the coaches. I've only been around the Penn State coaches once. And there are other schools I've only been to one time," said Tyrell. "I've been to Pitt countless times, so they would have to be a favorite because I'm most familiar with them."
Tyrell would like to narrow his choices down before the season starts and maybe make a decision during or after the season ends. He hopes that his strategy will cut down on the volume of phone calls that a player of his caliber receives on a nightly basis.
Tyrell commented, "It's so there are only certain (coaches) can call me. I don't want to have my season get disturbed by a bunch of phone calls every night."
At this point, expect Penn State to be one of those schools that make the final call list.
(Interview by Steve Curry)