PSU Commits Celebrate Unity

BALTIMORE, Md. -- Someday, perhaps a decade from now, it will be interesting look back on Penn State's recruiting class of 2006 and reminisce about the hype surrounding it. To consider how many of the prospects lived up to their advance billing, how many washed out and how many overachieved.

But that was the furthest thing from anyone's mind during a press conference at a Holiday Inn just off Interstate 695 here Wednesday. On the day the Class of 2006 officially became a class — the members having faxed their signed letters of intent to the Nittany Lion football offices earlier in the day — roughly half its ranks gathered in what one parent called a "celebration."

Indeed, Wednesday's event was all about youthful optimism, the newest Nittany Lions unabashedly talked about building on State's amazing streak of success that began when the coaching staff landed a strong recruiting class in 2005 and the program followed that up by rolling to 11-1 and a BCS win last fall.

"I want to win a national championship," said Aaron Maybin, a defensive end from Maryland. "I want to win more than one, and these guys will help us accomplish that."

The Class entered the day holding the No. 6 spot in the rankings, with 24 athletes having made oral pledges. All of those player have faxed their binding letters of intent to Penn State, the only hiccup a technical snafu that impacted two athletes but one that was quickly resolved.

Seven members of the class hail call Maryland home -- Maybin, Navorro Bowman, Bani Gbadyu, Antonio Logan-El, Phillip Taylor, A.J. Wallace and J.B. Walton. Of that group, only Bowman didn't make it Wednesday. He enrolled a semester early at Penn State and it taking classes at University Park.

Others on hand for this event were Pennsylvania standouts Pat Devlin, Tom McEowen and Jared Odrick, as well as Delaware blue-chipper Eric Larimore.

They entered the room here in single file to a round of applause from 100 or so PSU fans, a crush of reporters and beaming parents. After a brief formal ceremony and a few comments, they spread around the room to conduct individual interviews and photo shoots.

"I just thought it would be a great opportunity to meet some of my future teammates and develop some relationships," said Devlin, and All-America quarterback.

The class -- outside of Bowman -- will report en masse to enroll at Penn State for the second summer semester, starting in late June. As optimistic as the players here were Wednesday, the realize this is just the beginning of their journey, not the end.

"All the press accolades are nice," Maybin said. "It's up to us now to put in the hard work and everything."

See photos and listen to audio from the group signing event below:

More Photos from the York Dispatch
Listen to Aaron Maybin and Jared Odrick


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