|40-yard dash:||4.37 at Penn State's summer camp|
|School:||Jersey City, Nj. (St. Peter's Prep)|
This summer has been a busy one for New Jersey cornerback Leo Ferrine. First, his high school closed. Then, he began his summer camp tour, leaving the friendly confines of the Garden State to head both west and south.
"I went to three camps this summer--Georgia Tech, Penn State, and Notre Dame. It was all right. It was a journey though, my father drove to Penn State and Notre Dame," explained Leo, who went to both Notre Dame and Penn State for only a day.
The money Mr. Ferrine spent on traveling expenses was not wasted because each school that Leo camped at really liked him. Did he pick up any new offers to go with his previous list of Virginia, Rutgers, and Hofstra?
"Yeah, Virginia Tech and Notre Dame's talking [about offering] but they haven't offered yet. And then Penn State had offered and Georgia Tech. That's it so far," said Leo, who is being recruited as a corner across the board.
A relative of the Penn State defensive backs coach, Brian Norwood, Leo attended the Blue-White Game and the Nike Camp earlier this April. When did the Nittany Lions decide to offer Ferrine?
"It was the end of May because we had some school problems and they couldn't reach me," explained Leo, whose former high school Essex Catholic HS in East Orange, Nj. was closed by the diocese. This season Leo will attend St. Peter's Prep in Jersey City, Nj.
Although related to Norwood, offensive coordinator Fran Ganter has been the man given the task of recruiting Leo for Penn State. What has he said to Leo about the Nittany Lions interest level?
"He just said 'we're very interested in you and we'll see how the rest of your summer goes along, but right now, I'm just letting you know we're offering you.' He said to keep it on the table, keep it open, don't make any other [decisions],' said Leo.
At this point, Penn State has not given Leo a written offer while schools like Georgia Tech and Virginia have. That, however, does not mean the Nittany Lions are fading from Leo's list. During Penn State's summer camp, Coach Norwood sat down with Leo and reiterated the high interest in him.
"He just told me to keep my mind on school and don't worry about the recruiting process, it will go as planned," explained Leo, who continued that Coach Norwood mentioned the offer during drills at camp.
How does he feel he performed during camp?
"It was pretty good. We did some one on one drills. It was good from what I saw," said Leo, who ran a blazing 4.37 forty at the camp.
During LionNews' initial interview with Leo, he stated pretty matter-of-factly that he was really leaning for playing in the warm weather parts of the country.
"I'd make an exception for Penn State," explained Leo. "I like the school atmosphere. I know it's big and you won't hardly know everybody there but the surroundings, you feel comfortable with the people you're with. I know Coach Paterno, he's cool. I know some of the freshmen, who were going to be sophomores next year. When I met them, they were cool. I just like the family atmosphere they have."
Being a New Jersey native, Leo was also impressed by Penn State's wealth of players from that state.
"I met the kid from Teaneck, Tamba Hali, and Jason Alford. They're big guys," Leo said.
Despite his familiarity with Penn State, Leo was adamant that he had no favorite school this early in the process. What characteristics in a school will be important to him when the times comes that he must make his decision.
"Definitely education, location wise--I want to get out of New Jersey, family atmosphere, and is it close to my family so that they could come and visit me. Number one is probably education," explained Leo, whose four main schools (Penn State, Notre Dame, Georgia Tech, and Virginia) seem to have all of those attributes.
With so much information to look at, Leo does not seemed primed to make an early decision.
"I think I'll decide after the season, basically focus on my new school," said Leo, who expects to have a monster senior year at St. Peter's Prep. "They switched me from corner to (free) safety now. [I play] free safety, wide out, corner, kick returner, and punt returner."
(Interview by Steve Curry)