McEowen Anxious to be a Nittany Lion

While his Neshaminy team has powered its way to the playoffs, the Penn State verbal has enjoyed watching the Nittany Lion program bounce back this season. Is there any chance he will break his commitment to Joe Paterno? Hear what McEowen has to say on that front and more.

Defensive tackle Tom McEowen committed to Penn State back in July, when most experts predicted the Nittany Lions would be a middle-of-the-pack Big Ten team at best. Now that PSU is 9-1 and in the hunt for a BCS bid and conference crown, the 6-foot-4, 280-pound four-star prospect from Neshaminy High in Langhorne, Pa., has one thought about his commitment.

He can't wait to get on campus.

A highly touted prospect, McEowen is emphatic that his recruitment has been over since he committed to the Nittany Lions. While he occasionally gets letters and text messages from other schools, most programs recognize the commitment is solid. However, McEowen places no doubt that Penn State is the school with which he will sign.

“Recruiting has definitely slowed down a whole lot,” McEowen said. “I think some kids, they commit, but everyone's not really sure. Everyone knows I'm going to Penn State. Everyone knows I'm not de-committing. I would never do anything like that. It's allowed me to concentrate on my football season and my team and playing out.”

Neshaminy is 9-1 heading into Friday night's opening-round district playoff game against Plymouth Whitemarsh. As fate would have it, the Nittany Lions are also 9-1.

McEowen has followed Penn State closely, not only this season, but in seasons past. Despite the recent struggles of the Nittany Lions, McEowen had a hypothesis as to why that was the case.

“They're doing great,” McEowen said. “I'm really happy to see the team doing well because they should be. The years that they weren't doing well, the reasons they weren't doing well weren't because of the players or coaches. I believe it was that all of the pieces of the puzzle weren't put together. Now they have the wide receivers, the freshmen phemons, and everything is working out right. This has been their year.”

And McEowen knows he will be a part of that puzzle he speaks about. Specifically, McEowen pointed out that he has a great opportunity to feel a need at defensive tackle next fall.

“It's such a great opportunity,” McEowen said. “I'm lucky because for [defensive tackle] to be a need right now and for me to go in there and actually get to compete for a spot as a freshmen in front of 108,000 people is once in a lifetime. It's going to be awesome. After this season, I'll hit the weight room straight away, get bigger, get faster, get stronger.”

On man who will help put together that puzzle is PSU defensive line coach Larry Johnson Sr. McEowen stated that he holds Johnson in high regard.

“I talk to him a lot,” McEowen said. “He's a great coach. He knows what he's talking about. I believe that if I listen to him, he'll teach me everything I don't know right now. I don't know half the stuff right now I can learn. There's so much stuff I can learn. I believe he's the guy who can teach me.”

Having committed early on, one thing McEowen said he plans to do more of is contact different recruits and other current Penn State commitments.

“When I see them up there, we're always friendly; we talk and hang out,” McEowen said. “I was going to call [Jared] Odrick but I lost his number. We hung out the last time, and I was going to try to hit him up. I don't but I should.”

At the Ohio State game earlier this season, which marked McEowen's first Penn State football game of the season, he had a chance to speak with other recruits on the Nittany Lions' radar, particularly Odrick, the four-star defensive end prospect.

“It was awesome,” McEowen said. “How loud was that? It was insane. The fans truly are the 12th man. The other teams can't have anything on them. The support was nuts. I love that. We gotta give the fans something to cheer.”


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