Lawlor joins the Lions

On June 24th, Cumberland Valley's <b>Dan Lawlor</b> became the Nittany Lions tenth verbal of this recruiting class. When did he make up his mind? Will he be the only fullback taken? What if Notre Dame had offered?

Name: Dan Lawlor
Position: FB
Height: 6'3"
Weight: 240 pounds
Bench Press: 300 pounds
Hometown/School: Mechanicsburg, PA (Cumberland Valley HS)

On Tuesday (June 24th), the Nittany Lions continued their tremendous recruiting success, nabbing verbal commitment #10. Like commitments #8 (Jed Hill) and #9 (Mike Lucian), #10 also came from somewhere out in left field.  But not because no one had heard of the player (ranked #13 in the state); because LionNews talked with him on June 19th and he did not seem ready to commit.  No matter though, because Cumberland Valley HS fullback Dan Lawlor is now a Nittany Lion.

Dan and his family decided to drive up to Penn State on Tuesday afternoon after Dan felt it was time to become a Nittany Lion. Although the Lawlors called ahead to inform the Penn State coaches they were driving up, did he give them indication of why they were coming?

"I wanted to tell  them in person, rather than on the phone.  I told them I was coming up and I think they knew the reason why.  So I just told them and it went really well," said Dan.

When he arrived at Penn State, how did Dan give them the news of his commitment?

"We went to Coach Paterno's office, we had a little meeting, and I told him I was going to come play football for him," said Dan, who brought along his parents and one his brothers. "He was really thrilled and so was the coaching staff.  It was really nice."

Although Coach Larry Johnson was the man in charge of Dan's recruitment, Dan also had the chance to talk with Coach Fran Ganter, who'll be coaching him on offense during his career at Penn State.

"He was really thrilled that I'm going to be going there.  He just told me welcome aboard and welcome to the family," said Dan of Coach Ganter's reaction.  "He told me I would receiving the ball, running the ball, and blocking like any other fullback would."

Did Coach Ganter give him any indication he would be the lone fullback taken in this class?

"I don't know," admitted Dan.  "The first commitment (Matt Hahn) they had is a tailback slash fullback, but Coach Ganter told me he is more of a tailback."

With his decision to attend school at Penn State, Dan joins current teammate Wyatt Bowman as part of the Nittany Lion family. Did Wyatt have an influence on Dan's decision to become a Nittany Lion?

"Not really.  He was in my ear a lot about Penn State.  He didn't influence me into going there.  It was my decision and I was really comfortable with it," explained Dan, who jokingly called Wyatt the "Penn State Spokesman."

"Each time I went up there I was taking in more and more things about Penn State.  Everything about it fits perfectly with me, so I'm really comfortable with my decision."

Many people speculated that Dan was Notre Dame's to lose if they offered him a scholarship.  Was that a correct assumption on the part of many fans?

"I went and visited there.  They said they don't offer early scholarships, so that's why they didn't offer.  But I was still really interested," said Dan.  "I didn't connect with it as well as I did with Penn State.  If they both offered I would have still went with Penn State."

Dan is already qualified to play as a freshman.  Now that his final decision has been made, both he and Wyatt will turn their attention to their senior season at Cumberland Valley; a season which they hope turns out better than their 8-2 record of last year.

"Last year was kind of a rebuilding year because the year before that we had 23 seniors.  We lost our whole defense and most of our offense.  So we had to rebuild most of what we had," explained Dan.

With two class kids and terrific athletes like Dan and Wyatt, great things are definitely in Cumberland Valley's future.

(Interview by Steve Curry)

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