In a move that seemed counterproductive to some, Penn State football coach Joe Paterno cancelled all official visits for the weekend of the Nittany Lions' game against Ohio State. A few weeks later, the dust has settled, and one recruit affected by the cancellation, three-star St. Augustine (Fla.) High running back Brandon James, has had a chance to clear his mind and put things into perspective.
"[Penn State assistant Mike] McQueary called and he wasn't just saying that he was sorry, he said don't let it get in the way of my decision, don't take it as them not recruiting me. It was the head coach's decision and [the staff] didn't have any say so in it."
The effects also reached to St. Augustine coach Joey Wiles, who is also a Pennsylvania native. James said that McQueary actually spoke with Wiles before speaking to James, and his teammate and half brother Jacques Rickerson, in order to clear the air.
"I mean [Wiles has] been OK," James said. "He was kind of fired up about it. Recently he's been OK with it."
Despite the last-minute cancellation, James insisted that his interest in the Nittany Lions remains unchanged.
"It's pretty much still the same," James said. "I really wasn't disappointed in them, I was disappointed that I couldn't go up there for the visit. My interest is still the same. I haven't lost any interest at all."
But the big question on the minds of many fans is whether he will reschedule his official visit. According to James, the official visit will happen.
"As of right now, I'm for sure going to take a visit, but it will be after the season," James said.
In fact, James currently has a group of three schools he is looking at the most, Penn State included.
"I pretty much have a top three: Louisville, South Carolina and Penn State," James said.
However, Rickerson, a four-star cornerback, is looking elsewhere.
"Yes, from what he told me, he is not interested is Penn State anymore," James said.
Despite Rickerson's lost interest in the Nittany Lions, James has gone on record stating that both he and Rickerson are not a package deal.
"It's not like if you get one of us, you'll get the other," James said in a previous interview with FightOnState.com.
James also confirmed that Penn State is recruiting him as a running back/slot receiver. Some onlookers have questioned James' ability to be an every-down-type back, given his size (5-foot-7, 175).
"I mean, I really don't think about that," James said. "I just tell them to watch film. To me, I can carry the load. Recently, a lot of teams have gone to two backs. To me, 15-20 carries is nothing. I think my style and speed mean I can be just as good at the next level."