Connecticut TE Commits to PSU

<b>Brennan Coakley</b>, a 6'5" 240-pound tight-end who recently transferred to Newtown High from St. Joseph's High in Trumball, Connecticut, impressed the Penn State coaching staff this summer at their football camp. During an unofficial visit to PSU this past weekend, Coakley was offered a scholarship by the Nittany Lions. He quickly accepted.

Name: Brennan Coakley
Position: TE
Height: 6'5"
Weight: 240 pounds
40-Yard dash: 4.62 seconds (at PSU camp)
School: Newtown HS, Sandy Hook, CT

On Wednesday evening, Brennan's father confirmed the reports that his son recently made a verbal commitment to Penn State.

"[Penn State] extended a verbal offer this weekend," said Dan Coakley. "We were down there on an unofficial visit and saw the Iowa game, and the coaching staff said that the paperwork was in process, but Brennan feels very, very comfortable with the staff and school and everything else, so he, if given the opportunity, would like to have gone there, so it worked out."

Penn State was the first to offer Brennan a scholarship although several other schools including Connecticut, Iowa and Boston College were very interested. The Nittany Lions, who are recruiting Coakley to play tight-end, had an advantage over other schools in that they got a chance to see Brennan up close and personal for several days during a football camp at State College this summer.

"He became interested in Penn State I think it was during the summer of this past year. Coach Norwood was contacted by the Newtown coach, Coach Roberts, and he came up to look at a couple of kids, one kid (from Newtown High) who made a verbal commitment to Wisconsin (Dan Cascone) and another couple of kids. [Roberts] just wanted for him to look at Brennan because Brennan was at another school. They were doing some weight lifting and some other things and I guess Coach Norwood was impressed and suggested he come to the camp at Penn State which he did and I understand he had a really good camp there."

Coakley transferred from St. Joseph's High in Trumball, Connecticut.

"He was there for 3 years and left after the basketball season last year. He sat out his 30 days due to Connecticut rules and then was able to play the last part of the baseball season for Newtown."

So far this season, Newtown holds a 3-2-1 record.

"Statistically, he leads the team in receptions and has 3 touchdowns this far. I think he has over 40 tackles."

Brennan unofficially visited Iowa and was scheduled to visit Boston College before deciding to end the process by making a verbal commitment to Penn State.

"Actually, we were also down (to PSU) in August or September to do an unofficial visit just to check out the school, the academic support and the facilities. So, we took advantage of that and then we came down to watch the game this weekend. We drove down and came back the same day. It's a 5-hour run.

"As parents, my wife Shirley and I are very, very comfortable with the staff and Mr. Paterno. Brennan's very comfortable with them and he's really excited.

"Brennan has a very good relationship with Coach Norwood and feels very comfortable with him and also Coach Kenney who is the [offensive] line and tight-ends coach. From my perspective, I think it's awesome that he (Kenney) has that much experience with NFL-type tight-ends, where if Brennan continues to work hard and continues to improve, he has the potential to be playing on Sundays someday if things go well.

"I know the coaching staff is looking for two tight-ends and they were quite clear that they felt Brennan was one of their top guys. I know that they're still looking for another one which they've identified and hope to get."

Obviously, the Nittany Lions have been struggling offensively this season and are in need of some young talent to rejuvenate the offense.

"We're excited about that opportunity because Brennan can catch and run. I don't know what the plans are for next year, but hopefully his sophomore year he'll be seeing some major minutes and I only hear positive things about Mr. Morelli. It'll be exciting. I know my son and if the ball's in the vicinity he'll catch it."

The Coakley's were also impressed with the fan support exhibited at Beaver Stadium this past Saturday, despite a 6-4 loss to the Iowa Hawkeyes.

"I was just amazed at the whole attitude. Here's a team that is struggling offensively, defensively they're great, and the crowd just supports them wonderfully and it's great. It's great to see."

Brennan is planning to take his official visit to Penn State on December 11.

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