Jersey Teammates Check Out PSU

Gonzalez and Kelly toured campus and took in a Nittany Lion practice Friday. Read about their time in Happy Valley right here.

When John Strollo contacted the Union Hill (Union City, N.J.) football program in February, it was because two players jumped out at him. One was offensive lineman Steven Gonzalez, the other wide receiver/free safety Daiquan Kelly. Friday, the contact became more personal.

Both sophomores visited University Park for the Lions eighth -- and first outdoor -- spring practice Friday, each getting their first taste of the Happy Valley experience.

Penn State has a nice campus. I've never seen anything like it,” Gonzalez said.

“I saw a lot of people that were really into it,” Kelly added. “They wanted to be there, and that's what it's all about.”

Gonzalez is a tad further along in the recruiting process than is Kelly. The Class of 2015 lineman received his first offer, from Rutgers, after a visit to the New Jersey campus March 30. Kelly has yet to receive his first offer, but is hearing plenty from the Scarlet Knights, as well.

The duo arrived at Penn State in the late morning hours, and embarked on a campus tour before chatting with some academic advisors and counselors. They then moved onto a meeting with Strollo, before taking in practice on the field outside Holuba Hall.

“It was good. Pretty intense,” Gonzalez said of the practice. “I thought it was going to be a nice campus, but I didn't know it was going to be that good. The coaches took football seriously, and I liked that.”

Kelly, meanwhile, focused on his position group during practice, keeping a keen eye on wide receivers coach Stan Hixon's unit during individual drill work.

“I saw good things from a couple of the wide receivers, especially No. 8 [Allen Robinson],” he noted. “I focused on the defensive backs and wide receivers, and they have a couple good wide receivers and defensive backs. I really like the way they practiced.”

The 6-foot-5, 310-pound Gonzalez, meanwhile, took a strong interest to offensive line coach Mac McWhorter's portion of practice, noting that he was impressed by State's Donovan Smith. Like Smith, the sophomore feels he is best at opening up holes for his running back and yet feels strong in pass protection, too.

With their second unofficial visit in the books, neither has any additional visits planned at this time. But when they do hit the road again, Gonzalez will seek to find what he seeks to find everywhere -- the ingredients to a perfect potential school.

“I am looking for a school somewhat close to home, and one that has good athletic facilities, coaches that are well-known, and that I can like,” he explained. “I want to go to a school where the coaches treat the players right, but, first out of all of those, is academics. I want to go to a school with good academics.”

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