June 6, 2011 at 10:07 PM
Camren Williams had spoken to Joe Paterno a couple times before, but never like this.
Last Tuesday, Williams and his Catholic Memorial High School teammate Armani Reeves joined a select group of recruits who have gotten to talk to Penn State’s legendary coach via Skype.
“It was like a dream come true,” Williams said by phone. “It didn't even feel like it was real watching him behind the video all by himself talking to me and my teammate.”
Of course, the question of how much longer Paterno will coach arose. The 84-year-old told the pair of recruits he feels great and could picture himself coaching “four, five or six more years,” Williams said.
Williams said he was impressed with how on top of things Paterno was, as well as the coach’s specific knowledge of the two players, and how they would fit at Penn State. The rising high school senior went as far to say he felt like he was talking to a “young head coach.”
Williams, a four-star linebacker, became Penn State's second verbal commitment for the Class of 2012 on March 25. Reeves, a four-star cornerback, is still undecided, but Williams said Penn State has a slight lead on Reeves' list, ahead of Stanford, Michigan and Boston College.
The highlight of the 20-minute video conference, Williams said, came when Paterno tried to get Reeves to commit.
“Coach Paterno is really down to earth and he’s a really funny guy to be around just previously when talking to him,” Williams said. “So it was just a really cool experience.”
Could Skyping with JoePa, the winningest coach in college football history and a living legend, become a secret weapon in terms of recruiting? For some wide-eyed 18-year-old kids considering a few schools, Williams thinks it could help give Penn State the edge.
“I think when you look at Penn State, it’s such an old school type of program with a lot of older coaches,” Williams said. “And [when] they do a lot more stuff like this, like adding on Facebook and Skyping and all the things with new technology, it shows recruits that they’re really still on top of things. So I think it definitely helps them out a lot.”