|School:||Parkland High, Allentown, PA|
Austin Scott ran for 1,918 yards as a sophomore. He banged his knee playing basketball prior to his junior year and as a result of surgery required to remove a bone chip, Austin missed his entire junior season.
Many college coaching staffs were taking a wait-and-see approach to the recruitment of Austin. The Nittany Lions, however, decided that they had waited long enough and offered the talented back a scholarship this past Wednesday.
Austin didn't have to mull the decision over. He wants to play for Penn State.
"I've been in contact with Fran Ganter who's recruiting Austin," Parkland head coach Rob Melosky said Thursday afternoon. "Obviously, they saw film of his first 2 games. He rushed for 288 yards against Bethlehem Catholic, one of the top teams in the state, and he rushed for 355 against Allentown Central Catholic, a pretty good team around here. He (Ganter) saw the film and said 'let's not mess around'.
"Michigan's been calling, Virginia's been calling, Pitt's been calling, a lot of Big 10 schools.
"West Virginia offered him. I think Michigan and some others would've come through with one.
"Austin wanted to stay in Pennsylvania. He felt he's going to have a good shot at playing right away due to the fact that Larry Johnson's a senior. There are some kids there behind him, but Austin feels he can be competitive with them.
"The biggest thing was the academic standpoint and how they can meet his needs. Their graduation rates are second-to-none when it comes to African American athletes and that spoke volumes to his parents."
Austin has been to Penn State multiple times.
"He was up there for the camp this summer and I had him up there several times in the Spring for informal visits.
"We had him around to some other places like Virginia and Pitt, but he liked Penn State."
According to Melosky, Austin is academically qualified to play football in college.
"He has a 2.75 [GPA] and his SAT score was 920 or 950."
Coach Melosky indicated that Austin's knee is fine and that the young back is fully recovered from his injury.
"He was playing basketball and he knocked knees with a kid and it chipped this piece of his kneecap away. It was floating around in there and causing some discomfort. When they went in there to pull it out, they had to go through his patella tendon which is a very sensitive thing. It just took that long for him to recoup and we felt it was the right thing to sit him out. He sat out all last year. He's as healthy as can be right now."
Total Access Pass subscribers, click on the link below to read Austin's comments about his recruitment and his reasons for choosing Penn State.