PENN STATE Great Scott: Top RB stays close to home
The Nittany Lions expect Austin Scott to help replace senior Larry Johnson.
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) -- One record-breaking tailback is out at Penn State, another steps in to take his place.
Austin Scott, an all-state selection who set Pennsylvania records with 3,853 rushing yards and 53 touchdowns last year at Parkland High School, is one of 11 prep stars who signed a letter of intent Wednesday to play for Penn State.
"I personally believe he's the best running back to come out of Pennsylvania since Tony Dorsett," said Phil Grosz, publisher of the G & amp;W Recruiting Report and the Penn State fan newspaper Blue-White Illustrated.
"He's big ... he has legit 4.40 speed. He has what we call in football vernacular 'wiggle' -- in other words he can go left, go right, find a seam and accelerate out of that cut in two strides to be going full speed," Grosz said. "It's the entire package."
And like Larry Johnson, who broke Penn State's game and season rushing records last year, Scott said he's more interested in the team's success than breaking records.
"A national championship, that's the basic goal. What the team accomplishes is the most important thing to me," Scott said. "I can't wait to get out there in uniform and hear the fans go nuts."
Unlike most schools, Penn State does not release a list of signees. But among the 11 players known to have signed with the Nittany Lions, six are from Pennsylvania, including Scott; offensive lineman Joel Holler, of McCaskey High School in Lancaster; defensive back Jonathan Jackson, of West Catholic High School in Philadelphia; linebacker Paul Posluszny, of Hopewell High School in Aliquippa; defensive lineman John Shaw, of Spring Grove High School; and wide receiver/defensive back Brent Wise, of Central Dauphin High School in Harrisburg.
The recruiting class is the smallest in several years at Penn State -- defensive coordinator Tom Bradley said last month that the Nittany Lions expected to sign only 10 to 12 players because of scholarship limits -- but Grosz says the group fills holes in Penn State's roster while maintaining the Pennsylvania and East Coast recruiting base.
"That's what you've got to like about this Penn State class," Grosz said. "They don't have a lot of scholarships, but Shaw's the No. 1 defensive tackle in the state, Holler the No. 1 defensive lineman, Scott the No. 1 running back, and, in my opinion, Posluszny is the No. 1 linebacker. You've got to look at quality and need rather than numbers."
This also is the second year in a row that Penn State has not signed a quarterback, but with Zack Mills returning for his junior year, and Michael Robinson and Chris Ganter back as sophomores, Grosz said Penn State can afford to wait another year before looking for a quarterback.