Tre Bowman, ranked the No. 92 shooting guard in the Class of 2010 by ESPN.com, verbally committed to play at Penn State after visiting campus last weekend, he confirmed in a telephone interview Tuesday night.
Bowman said he called coach Ed DeChellis Monday night to inform him of his commitment.
"It was a big stretch for me, the last couple weeks deciding what school I was going to go to," Bowman said. "But I'm excited and looking forward to start playing with Penn State."
The Erie native will not become an official member of the Nittany Lions until national signing day on April 14. The Lions have two remaining scholarships to offer in the late signging period, with Chris Babb and Bill Edwards transfering and Andrew Ott graduating.
Bowman, a 6-foot-4, 185-pound guard, picked Penn State over offers from Nebraska, South Florida, Saint Joseph's, Duquesne, Drexel, LaSalle, James Madison and Northeastern, among others.
Seton Hall, Minnesota, Clemson and Wake Forest also expressed interest in him, he said.
After playing four seasons at Central York High School, Bowman played an additional season at St. Thomas More School in Oakdale, Conn., where he averaged a team-high 17 points and led the squad to the national semifinals.
John Knox, who coached Bowman at Central York, said the guard broke the school's single-season scoring record his senior year, averaging about 24.5 points per game.
Knox called Bowman a relentless worker who was always in the gym shooting.
Because Bowman was undersized and young for his grade level, he made the decision to go to St. Thomas More to fulfill his dream of playing at a big-time school, Knox said.
West Virginia's Devin Ebanks also played at the all-boys Catholic private prep school in Connecticut.
"Everybody [at St. Thomas More] was going on to a high-major school, so I knew that it was going to be hard," Bowman said. "I had to work for my spot. I worked on it every day in the gym at 6:45 in the morning. It made me a whole better of a player."
When asked how he'd describe himself as a player, Bowman pointed to his athleticism and his ability to throw down a between-the-legs dunk.
"I would say I'm a very good shooter, and I can play above the rim," Bowman said. "Be on the lookout for some exciting dunks."
He is set to graduate from the prep school May 10 and will enroll in classes during Penn State's first summer session in late-May, he said.
Bowman met with all the coaches this weekend. They sat the recruit down in a conference room, where they outlined their plan for him to contribute to the team next season. The coaches told him he'd compete with Cammeron Woodyard, Jermaine Marshall and incoming freshman Taran Buie for playing time.
"The coaches told me how much they loved my game," Bowman said. "Coach DeChellis said if I come in and don't play and don't get a lot of time, that he'll be disappointed because he knows what I'm capable of, and he knows that they need a shooter."
Bowman wasn't deterred by the Lions' unsuccessful 11-20 season this year because of their National Invitation Tournament championship in 2009, he said.
"Hopefully with the players we have coming in next year we'll have a real good year," he said.
Evan Daniels, a national scouting director for Scout.com, said he saw Bowman play twice and observed improvement in the guard's play during the second occasion.
At the National Prep School Invitational in early February, Daniels said Bowman showcased a nice mid-range game and attacked the rim with consistency.
"I was pretty intrigued because of his size and his athletic ability," Daniels said. "He really didn't have any trouble attacking the rim and scoring around the basket."
Jerry Palm, a college basketball analyst for Collegebcs.com, said signing a shooter would benefit the Lions by taking pressure off guard Talor Battle, but the real area of improvement is at the forward position.
"Honestly, I think this team needs a force inside and they need some toughness," Palm said. "I thought they played a little tougher as the year went on, and got better at the end of the year, but I really thought they were exposed inside, and what they really needed was a little more force inside."
Bowman is excited to play with Battle and the rest of the Lions. He scrimmaged with the team this weekend and went out to dinner with the coaching staff, Battle and Buie at Damon's Grill, too.
"[Taran and Talor] both wanted me to come there because they had seen some of my highlight clips and heard about me," Bowman said. "Taran is a real good guy and Talor is too."