Linebacker U Adds Another

<b>Tyrell Sales</b>, a highly sought after linebacker from Butler, PA, informed the Nittany Lion coaching staff on Sunday during an unofficial visit that Penn State was where he wanted to be. Tyrell becomes Penn State's 18th known verbal commitment. He talks about his decision.

Name: Tyrell Sales
Position: OLB
Height: 6'3"
Weight: 225 pounds
40 Yard Dash: 4.7 seconds
School: Butler, Pa. (Butler HS)

Head Coach Joe Paterno and Defensive Coordinator Tom Bradley were the first members of the Penn State coaching staff to find out that Tyrell had made his decision.

"They were talking to me and I just said that's where I wanted to be," Tyrell recalled. "They were real happy about it. I saw a lot of smiles. That made me feel good. I'm real excited. It feels good to have it done."

Before visiting State College on Sunday, Sales took an official visit to Pittsburgh on Friday with good friend Andrew Johnson. There, Tyrell was able to talk with several members of the Panthers coaching staff including Coach Junko, Coach Harris, Coach Bray and Coach Rhoades.

He then travelled to State College two days later with several members of his family.

"I went up with my father, my grandmother and my little sister, because none of them had ever been out there before and they wanted to see the campus. So, we went out there and they got a little tour of the campus and the stadium and everything. We talked to some coaches and then went and watched practice. When I was up there walking around, it became clear to me that that's where I wanted to be. I have such a good feeling about the campus.

"I like the Pitt coaches and everything, but I don't think Pitt was the place for me, because I don't know if I really want to go to school in the middle of the city and I just felt like Penn State was the best place as far as everything being so close together, the classes, where they eat, everything like that's real close.

"I figure living away from home is going to be such a big transition for me. I've been in Butler all my life and State College is a lot like my hometown, so that's one less thing I really have to deal with, a different lifestyle."

Tyrell also feels very comfortable with the Nittany Lion coaching staff.

"They're really good coaches. My recruiting coach, Coach Bradley, ever since I met him I've really liked him. He's been a real great guy. And Coach Vanderlinden, he really knows what he's talking about. He was the head coach down at Maryland. If you ever had a head coaching job, you really have to know what you're talking about. I think that's the third practice I've been to and I just like the way he coaches. They play a fair game, so I think with hard work, I could play early out there."

According to Tyrell, he is slated to play the Sam linebacker position (outside linebacker on the strong side), Dontey Brown will be at middle linebacker, and the staff envisions Dan Connor at the Fritz linebacker position (weak side).

Some outsiders have speculated about the possibility of Sales putting on some weight and playing at defensive end.

"I could grow into that position. As long as I'm on the field, as long as I'm playing, if it's for the better of the team, that would be something I would be willing to do. But, going in, I definitely want to play linebacker. That's what I've always played. That's what I want to have a shot at playing."

Penn State is certainly excited to grant him his wish.

"I just figure Penn State has a good reputation for sending defensive guys to the next level, so I figure I'll just go where I have the best shot."

Tyrell chose Penn State over an estimated 20 to 25 other teams that offered him a scholarship including Ohio State, Florida State, Wisconsin, Michigan State, North Carolina, South Carolina, Boston College, Syracuse and West Virginia.

Early on in the recruiting process, Pittsburgh was Tyrell's favorite. When did the tide turn in favor of Penn State?

"I don't know exactly when it turned. It was just a process. I always liked Pitt, but I had never been to Penn State. When I went out to Penn State and saw what it was about, I started to like it."

Sales' first visit to Penn State took place on April 16, the day ESPN Gameday was in attendance profiling the Nittany Lions during a team practice . He also watched one of Penn State's summer camp sessions before returning with his family last Sunday.

Tyrell is already familiar with several of Penn State's other verbal commitments, namely A.Q. Shipley, Dontey Brown, Greg Harrison and Wyatt Bowman.

Although several on that list grew up fans of the Nittany Lions, it took a few years for Tyrell to come around.

"Really, growing up, I watched more NFL (Steelers) until recently when Lavar went to Penn State. I've always followed Penn State since then."

Tyrell isn't the first high school superstar to acknowledge being inspired by watching #11 perform in blue and white. Unlike the many others, however, he'll get the opportunity to take the baton from Arrington and perpetuate the legacy of Linebacker U.

Tyrell on the sidelines during the Big 33 game.

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