Top LB Enjoys Unofficial Visit

<b>Brian Toal</b>, rated the nation's 8th best linebacker prospect by TheInsiders.com, took an unofficial visit to Penn State on Saturday to watch Boston College and brother Greg, a senior fullback for the Eagles, defeat the Nittany Lions 27-14. Did his visit pique his interest in the Nittany Lions?

Name: Brian Toal
Position: LB
Height: 6'2"
Weight: 228 pounds
40-yard dash: 4.4
Hometown/School: Ramsey, Nj. (Don Bosco Prep)


"It was really good," Brian said of his Saturday visit. "I really liked it a lot. I've never really seen a crowd like that before, so I was pretty impressed.

"We went there, me, my mom, and my dad, and we had breakfast up in the room in the stadium above the locker room. After that, I went down when the players came in off the bus which was pretty cool. Zack Mills leads them out and then Paterno goes in behind them. There are like thousands of people around as they come off the busses. It's pretty cool. Some guy knew who I was, so that was pretty cool."

Toal also got the chance to talk to some of the Penn State coaches.

"I met with them before the game for a little bit. I talked to the linebacker coach (Coach Vanderlinden) and the guy who recruits my area, Coach Ganter. I met with them briefly after the game and then I went to meet my brother."

Brian is taking things slowly and does not yet have any official visits set up. He does, however, have an idea as to which teams he may take official visits.

"I'm not really sure, but I think I'll visit Miami, definitely, probably Virginia Tech and Tennessee and probably Notre Dame, but I'm not real sure right now."

Those four and Boston College round out Brian's top 5 right now.

Did his interest in Penn State increase or decrease as a result of his visit?

"I think it increased a little bit, but right now those are the five schools that I'm interested in, that are leading, but Penn State's right there as well.

"I like the guys that they already have committed. A lot of those guys were there and they seem to have a real good bond. They were all real nice kids and the coaches were real friendly. And, the stadium is just amazing and the facilities are great. I really liked it there."

Brian named New Jersey offensive lineman Austin Hinton and Pennsylvania linebacker Dan Connor as two of Penn State's verbal commitments he had the chance to meet on Saturday. In a previous interview with Brian, he indicated that the Nittany Lion's success getting commitments from several top linebackers including Connor was one of the reasons he was less interested in PSU than some others. Does that still hold true?

"Not at this point right now as much. I kind of worried about it before, but anywhere you go is going to have great players."

Toal, who first visited Penn State in the spring when he attended a practice session, said that returning to Happy Valley for an official visit remains a possibility.

"I've been there twice already and that's the same with Boston College, I've been there so many times. But, I might end up taking it there still if that's what I'm really interested in."

The Nittany Lion coaching staff did call the Toal household last week.

"They talked to my dad. I might have been working out or something. They said they were going to call sometime this week too."

Brian is a very honest and personable young man. He describes himself as being very open-minded right now and is not bothered at all by the recruiting process. He indicated that the Nittany Lions are probably 6th or 7th on his list of favorites.

How does he feel about each of the teams he saw take the field on Saturday?

BC: "I know the coaches real well and there's a real good chance that I could play as a freshman. So, that's really what I like about them and it's a great area. I really enjoy it up there."

PSU: "I like that area as well. It looks like a really fun time up there. I don't know their coaches as well, but they seem like real good guys and good coaches. Linebacker-U."

Brian was quoted in another article last week as being anxious to see how Penn State used their linebackers during the game.

"I watched it a little bit. I was just kind of watching the game really."

What is his explanation as to how the game transpired?

"I think BC's line kind of beat them up, especially BC's d-line. They really hit the quarterback a lot."

Brian, who plays his first regular season game this Friday, admitted to being somewhat of a jinx.

"I went to BC's first game, Wake. Wherever I go, that team loses. Last year, I went to Notre Dame and they lost. I'm bad luck. We'll see what happens, I'm going to UConn too, to check out my brother."

How about that fullback (his brother) from Boston College, what did you think of him?

"A little soft," he laughed.

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