|40-yard dash:||4.9||School:||Carson, Ca. (Carson HS)|
Matt Malele, the big 6'2'', 310 pound defensive tackle, had never been on the east coast before his official visit to Penn State last weekend. The Carson, Ca. native called himself a "warm-weather" guy, but he did not let the frigid January temperatures in State College ruin his visit. What advice did the Penn State coaches give him before hand?
"The ground was covered with snow. They told me to bring a big jacket. It was real cold. They said that's the coldest it's been at Penn State in a couple years."
Matt, who played in the National High School All-American Bowl in San Antonio, Texas, in early January, roomed with Nittany Lion defensive end, Jeremiah Davis, on his visit. He also had the opportunity to meet fellow d-linemen John Bronson and Jason Robinson.
Does a weekend official visit in State College differ from some of the other universities he's been to?
"Just like everybody else, they do the campus and athletic tours. You meet all the academic advisors. Then we went to a basketball game and I talked to all the coaches."
"It was a nice visit. They were almost all the same."
Although Penn State's location is three time zones away from home, Matt stated he has no problem going to school on the east coast. In fact, Penn State improved their standing with Malele this weekend. A tough grader, Matt ranked the Penn State visit a 7 on a scale of 10.
"My top 5 in no order is now Oregon, Tennessee, Washington, Penn State and Arizona State. Penn State moved up. It's all pretty even."
Matt has already taken visit to his five favorites with the exception of Arizona State, who he will visit this weekend (1-24).
The Penn State coaching staff emphasized to Malele the Nittany Lions need to defensive lineman. All the schools on his list are recruiting him to play the noseguard position, which was manned by All-American Jimmy Kennedy this season for the Nittany Lions.
"They said, Penn State should be a place to consider because they are graduating three guys [on the defensive line]."
Currently, Matt does not have an in-home visit set up with Joe Paterno, but the Lions' defensive line coach, Larry Johnson, has been to Carson to visit with Matt and his family already.
He believes he will make a commitment sometime close to National Signing Day. What factor will help steer him toward his final destination?
"I'll look at where I feel comfortable the most."
(Interview by Steve Curry)