Penn State Suits Amani Just Fine

The three-star Tampa cornerback flipped to the Nittany Lions from Vanderbilt Thursday. He tells us why he picked PSU.

Amani Oruwariye knew if he put his trust in Penn State head coach James Franklin and his staff, everything would work out just fine.

So he did, even if he was ready to commit to the program during an official visit last weekend and was told to wait just a few more days. Thursday, it proved worthwhile.

"I knew all along after I went on the visit that I wanted to be a Penn State Nittany Lion," Oruwariye said. "Being on that visit, I was comfortable with where I would be living the next four years of my life, and the relationship I built was just amazing.

"I know with this coaching staff coming here, we're going to win some Big Ten championships, and if we're fortunate, some national championships."

A 6-foot-1, 175-pound corner, the Tampa Gaither three-star messaged Franklin Thursday asking if he could call, and the coach said yes. It was a done deal from there privately, and though word leaked out some six hours early, the prospect waited to confer with his mother, Karen, before publicly acknowledging his flip from Vanderbilt to the Lions.

"[Franklin] asked if I wanted to be Penn State Nittany Lion, and I told him no doubt," Oruwariye said. "He told me the good news that it all got cleared up and everything was good. They had to juggle some stuff, but it all worked out because I just trusted in him.

"My mom told me that wherever I go, she's going to be happy, and she is. I knew once she found out, she'd be happy."

Oruwariye (Oh-roo-R-ee) said he was unsure what adjustments had to be made to fit him into the Lions' class, but to him, it doesn't much matter. The fact that he is the sixth former Commodore to flip is.

He was joined by another flipped corner, Atlanta (Ga.) Lovett School Grant Haley, on his official visit. While the two held a bond previously, they both learned the ins and outs of what Penn State has to offer.

"It was just how crazy the support is," Oruwariye said. "You walk around, and when people find out you're a PSU recruit, they go nuts. The support they have, and the alumni are amazing. The campus is beautiful, and I couldn't see going anywhere else."

The corner will be coached by State corners coach and defensive recruiting coordinator Terry Smith. He spoke with Smith Thursday, along with receivers coach and offensive recruiting coordinator Josh Gattis.

He met Smith during his official visit, and the two immediately connected despite it being the first time they spoke.

"I got to meet him and he seems like a great guy," Oruwariye said. "He's said he's ready and honored to be able to coach me, and he knows I'll be able to do big things with me. He's just pumped.

"It means a lot to me he would take an interest in me out of all the guys that wanted to come to Penn State. I feel special that he has somebody he can work with, somebody to coach, and I'm honored to be able to play for him and work for him."

Oruwariye will no longer take a scheduled visit to Missouri this weekend, and will sign at his school with family and friends looking on come Signing Day (Feb. 5).

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