Lyons In The Midst Of Lions

<b>Jordan Lyons</b>, a big, athletic quarterback from Woodward Academy in College Park, Georgia received a scholarship offer from the Nittany Lions a couple of weeks ago. He took his first visit to Penn State last weekend for the Indiana game. How was the visit?

Name: Jordan Lyons
Position: QB
Height: 6'5"
Weight: 220 pounds
40-yard dash: 4.68 at Nike Camp
Bench Press: 255 pounds
School: Woodward Academy, College Park, GA

Jordan took an unofficial visit to Happy Valley this weekend with his mother and father to check out the campus and soak in the Penn State gameday atmosphere.

"I went up Saturday morning right before the game," said Jordan. "I flew into Pittsburgh. It was a 3-hour drive. I got there right at the end of the first quarter.

"I watched the game and afterwards I got to talk to Coach Paterno, his son, the quarterbacks coach, and Coach Carter. I also got to talk to an academic counselor from Penn State.

"I asked him questions about the programs and how many years and how tough it is to stay in school and he gave us interesting facts about the graduation rate. It's 86% since 1997 I believe. I'm not exactly sure of the specifics, but I think that's what he said. I knew that [the academics] were very good and he just reaffirmed that belief. The business school's in the top 20 in the nation as are most of the other programs at Penn State. It's one of the top public universities also."

How was the gameday atmosphere?

"It was pretty interesting. We drove up and parked in an RV all night thing where people had been in there since Friday morning, camping out, getting ready for the game and tailgating before and after within a mile radius. Cars were parked everywhere, there were 107,000 people in the stadium. It's quite different from southern football, but it's still the same kind of love for the team and everything like that."

How is southern football different?

"In the south, we pretty much live football and breathe football, but they pretty much breathe it on Saturdays, we breathe it all week," he laughed. "I got to talk to a bunch of the kids and it's a very big atmosphere in the stadium, and everybody from around knows that you're there, but, you know, it's not necessarily the kind of feel that you get when you're down in Georgia."

Following a convincing win by the Nittany Lions, Jordan had the opportunity to speak with coaching legend Joe Paterno.

"I got to talk to Coach Paterno and I understand that he doesn't like to play freshmen and that's not a big deal because if I redshirt, I'll probably get to play sophomore year since they haven't recruited a quarterback in the last two years.

"They use the quarterbacks fairly efficiently, they run half the time and pass half the time. They run the option a little bit, so I pretty much feel fairly comfortable with that."

Jordan's parents also enjoyed the visit.

"They liked it a lot. They had a good time and they liked the campus. It's a gorgeous campus. It's pretty compact which is fairly nice. I got to drive around after the game and see the facilities and everything. Coach Carter drove me around."

The visit met Lyons' expectations.

"It was everything that I expected it to be. It was pretty much like Maryland which pretty much all the schools are going to be like."

Jordan will return to Penn State on December 5 for an official visit. He will take his first official visit this Saturday to Michigan State to watch the Spartans take on the Nittany Lions. He will travel to East Lansing on Saturday morning following the War Eagles' (9-1) first playoff game Friday night.

Lyons, in addition to his prior offers from Penn State, Georgia, Maryland and Michigan State, recently added scholarship offers from Stanford and North Carolina. He is not yet ready to name a favorite.

"I still want to see Stanford, but after that, I'll pretty much know who."

Has he set up an official visit to Stanford yet?

"I have not set up a visit because I hadn't received the scholarship yet, but now that I do, I will not hesitate to set up one."

Who else may get an official visit?

"Probably I'll go to Maryland one more time."

Jordan is most interested in playing quarterback in college. Penn State, Maryland, Stanford and Michigan State are all recruiting Lyons to play quarterback. Georgia and North Carolina are recruiting him to play tight-end. Jordan believes he has what it takes to be a Division I signal caller.

"I run the option. That's probably why Penn State and Maryland are pretty big on me, because I know how to run the option. I know the reads and I usually make the right one. I'm fairly accurate throwing the ball. I have pretty good arm strength. I throw the ball quite a good ways. I don't really know how far and don't really care how far, as long as I can get it to the open guy that's all that really matters."

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