Jacob August isn't a stranger to new places. Born in New Jersey, he moved to South Carolina when he was two, graduated from Cardinal Newman (South Columbia, S.C.) and then attended post-graduate school at Fork Union Military Academy in Virginia.
Soon, the 6-foot-6, 248-pound tight end will stop at another destination, again in a new state.
"I really wanted to go to a big school, and it came down to South Carolina and Penn State," August said. The Gamecocks also extended a preferred walk-on spot. "I was leaning toward South Carolina, but realized Penn State had the most advantages for me as far as academics, playing time and opportunities.
"I loved the [recruiting] process, but I'm glad it's over, because it was stressing me out not knowing where I was going to go. I felt like Penn State was the best thing for me, and I'm excited for a new home and to meet new people."
Players choose to forego enrolling in the college ranks right out of high school for a variety of reasons. For August, it was size. He weighed just 205 pounds coming out of Cardinal Newman, and knew full well that wasn't an ideal weight for a college tight end.
So he went to Fork Union, and built his body and refined his skills. August said Temple and Southern Mississippi eventually offered scholarships. Lower-division schools Tennessee-Chattanooga, Richmond and Bucknell offered whatever scholarship help they could.
But John Power, a former coach at Fork Union who is now an assistant recruiting coordinator at Penn State, clued the Nittany Lion staff into August. And PSU took interest.
He ended up making two visits to campus, the last one for Penn State's win over Purdue Nov. 16.
"I visited in May, and then I heard from Penn State in August or September," August said. "I then met Coach [Bill] O'Brien on my unofficial visit, and Coach [John] Strollo. I got to talk to him a lot, along with Coach [Charles] London." So what sold him on the Lions?
"I like catching the ball a lot," he said. "I was a receiver in high school and played a little bit of tight end, so I wanted to go somewhere that involved the tight end a lot. I know that Penn State does. Their tight ends had a lot of catches, and I know that they run three-tight end sets, so I think there is a good opportunity to play. That led me to my decision. I like being involved in every part of the game. I like hitting people, and I also like catching the ball and getting into the open field and being able to do something."
Academics came into play, too. August intends to major in business — specifically accounting.
"I know that Penn State has a really good business school, and I heard that you have to have a certain GPA to get into it," August said. "I like the challenge of that. My dad is a business guy, and two of my sisters are in business, so I thought I would follow their path."
Little time separates August from his intended January enrollment for the start of the spring semester, and he knows PSU weight room work is right around.
While he is accustomed to new places, all of the new faces will be a change for August.
"I'm excited to start anew," August said. "I grew up around the same people all my life, and I'm excited to start a new chapter, meet new people, and see what a different part of the country is like since I lived in the South."