Monroe Talks Penn State Offer

Since camping at University Park a year ago, the Washington, D.C. defensive back had been waiting to hear from the Nittany Lions.

Like many junior prospects, Ayron Monroe knew he was on Penn State's radar in December. But with a new coaching staff in place, he wasn't sure if he still was in January.

A couple of phone calls to and social messages between the Washington (D.C.) St. John's College corner and Penn State's new staff affirmed their interest. He proved his by visiting for Junior Day, where the Lions upped their interest ante by extending an offer before the event was over.

"I hadn't met them yet, so I went up there because they were telling me they really liked me and like what I brought to the table," Monroe said. "Everything was good, and then before I left, [head] Coach [James] Franklin called me in, talked to me one-on-one, and offered."

The 6-foot, 195-pound three-star corner said he was getting the feeling an offer was coming after chatting throughout the day with defensive coordinator Bob Shoop. But of his seven to date, the one from the Lions' comes with a unique twist.

Most programs have offered, or showed interest, in Monroe as a corner. Penn State's staff, however, pointed to his strengths as grounds for a potential switch to safety.

"Coach Shoop was telling me, ‘we can make you into one of the best players in the Big Ten,' and stuff like that," Monroe said. "He said they want to coach me, and that meant a lot to me. I've been trying to get this one since camp last year.

"They offered me as a defensive back, and safety is the most likely possibility. They watched my tape and said I had great athleticism and physicality, but because of my cover skills, corner would still be an option."

Indeed, Monroe stood out to then defensive coordinator John Butler at an Advanced Skills Camp last summer. That day, he saw the football facilities but not much more. Last Saturday, though, his view of the program was extended beyond the gridiron.

"We went to the football facilities and sat down and ate, and that's when we got to talk to the coaches," Monroe said. "Then they told us what Penn State was all about, what they wanted to accomplish, and then they told us about the education and everything, and where they stand among other Big Ten schools.

"We went to Beaver Stadium, too, and it was great," he continued. "We walked out there, and I never walked into a stadium that big in my life. I've been to a game, but when you walk out there and it's empty, you can see everything, and it looks special."

Monroe said he would like to make a decision during the summer, and is considering visiting other programs. That list included but was not limited to Maryland, Virginia, Georgia Tech and Iowa.


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