RB/DB Discusses Penn State Visit

Ira Guilford, a highly coveted RB/DB prospect from New Jersey, took an official visit to Penn State this past weekend. Where do the Nittany Lions rank among his favorites?

Name: Ira Guilford
Position: S, RB
Height: 5'11"
Weight: 190 pounds
40-yard dash: 4.42
Bench press: 360
School: Hoboken HS, Hoboken, NJ

Ira Guilford took an official visit to Penn State this past weekend with his parents.  He and his father had been to Penn State before, this summer for a recruiting day. It was his mother's first trip to Penn State.

"I liked it," Ira said.  "I had a lot of fun.  It was real nice up there.  I got to see all the facilities and everything, the academic support staff, the business school and got to hang out for the weekend."

Redshirt freshman DE Lavon Chisley was his host.

"I was in a room with him and, honestly I don't know the guy's name, they called him Blue (Matthew Rice), Mike Rob(inson) and one of the DBs (Alan Zemaitis)."

Guilford said that the Nittany Lions are recruiting him to play running back.

"They told me I'd have an opportunity to play early because of the running back situation.  They just said they really need some help.  I know they have two guys coming in.

"I spent a lot of time with JoePa.  He hasn't seen my offensive tape yet, so he was just telling me what a great DB I could be."

Coach Fran Ganter, Penn State's Assistant Head Coach and Offensive Coordinator has seen Guilford's offensive tape.

"He said that I had a great tape and that I'm as good as any other guy they're recruiting, that I have a lot of talent, so I could play early."

Ira does not have a strong preference as to whether he'd like to play RB or DB in college.

"I'm still trying to decide at this point."

Did Guilford and the Penn State players watch the Heisman Trophy presentation?

"We saw it.  Everybody was a little upset.  [Larry Johnson] called the room I was in right after he lost.  I got to speak to him.  I was just telling him that I'm a recruit, that he's one of the reasons I'm looking at Penn State, that he's a great running back and that I followed his career.  Plus, he knows [former PSU QB] Rashard Casey, who was from my high school.  He said 'yeah, you should come, it's a great place' and everything like that."

This was Ira's first official visit.  He has official visits scheduled to Ohio State (1/10), Syracuse (1/14, during the week), Notre Dame (1/17) and Rutgers (1/24).

Is Ohio State still his favorite?

"Yep."

Where does that put Penn State?

"They've always been right behind.  They're right there second right now."

What does Ira like about Ohio State?

"I feel really comfortable with the coaching staff and the players they have there now.  I think it's a real good environment.  I've been there a lot before and I just feel it's a place I could fit in really well and get an opportunity to play a little bit."

Is OSU recruiting him to play running back?

"No, I wouldn't go," he laughed recognizing that Maurice Clarrett is only a freshman. "Safety."

Since OSU is still his favorite even after visiting Penn State, does that mean the Nittany Lions chances are slim?

"To tell you the truth, I say Ohio State's my favorite, but I'm really looking at them on an even playing field right now.  Ohio State's been my favorite from before.  But, there's definitely the possibility of me commiting to Penn State.

"If somebody just said 'choose now', I'd choose Ohio State."


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