Poti Headed to Penn State

Two weeks ago we learned that Penn State had brought in a pair of junior college offensive linemen for official visits. The Nittany Lions are in search of an immediate remedy for their offensive line woes and last Friday they may have found just what the doctor ordered.

San Franciso (Cal.) junior college offensive tackle Ako Poti caused a stir amongst the fans of FightOnState.com last week once they found that his myspace.com page was plastered with a Penn State football background. Was it just a case of a kid being a kid, or was their something to this new phenomenon. Upon further investigating we spoke with Poti's father Ako Poti Sr. and he informed us at that time that his son had indeed received a scholarship offer from Penn State, but he was going to visit Texas Tech over the weekend and then decide.

Thursday, Penn State assistant coach Brian Norwood traveled West to meet with Poti and his father and seemingly sealed the proverbial deal.

"Ako committed to Penn State last Thursday," Poti Sr. said. "Coach (Brian) Norwood came out to visit us and while we were eating lunch, I told my son that if this is what you want there is no sense in drawing it out any longer. We cancelled the Texas tech trip, because we felt it wasn't fair for him to go there knowing that his mind was made up."

Ironically, it was Mr. Poti's familiarity with Norwood that helped seal the deal.

"When I was playing for Utah he was playing for Hawaii, so we played against each other," Poti Sr. explained. "He is a real cool guy and very down to earth. It made it feel more personable because the connection was there."

Poti Sr. said his son will leave for Penn State on Jan. 14 and begin classes soon after. He will then begin his quest to help the Nittany Lion's offensive line.

"I think he starts classes the 14th or 15th," Poti Sr. said. "He was promised nothing and that is the way we like it. He will go into spring ball at the bottom of the ladder and he will have to fight his way up it."

Poti Sr. has spoken to a few coaches in the junior college ranks and they were surprised that Penn State had offered a junior college player.

"A lot of the coaches were surprised that they came out here for my son," Poti Sr. told Scout.com "Penn State is not known for recruiting JUCO kids."

Distance is usually a factor for young men who venture from home, but dad says this is what his son wanted.

"He wanted to get away from home," Poti said. "He is a very mature kid. We are excited for him. We think he will do well in the Big Ten. Penn State should be pretty good, it looks like they have a lot of talent coming back."

One thing is for certain the Penn State Nittany Lions will have a few new fans cheering them on during the Outback bowl when they battle Tennessee.

"We will definitely be watching the bowl game and rooting for Penn State," said the former Utah lineman. "I'm on board now and I have always been a Joe Paterno fan."

Ironically, the biggest crowd that Poti Sr. ever played against when he was a member of the Utah team was an away game at Tennessee.

"We played in front of 98,000 fans all rooting against us," Poti said. "Now my son will have 100,000 fans cheering for him. I told Coach Norwood that I will be coming out there for the Notre Dame game next season and I can't wait."

Poti will have three years to play two years at Penn State.

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