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Thursday, November 10, 2011
PSU commits react to Paterno firing

By Jared Shanker

UPDATE: A majority of the 16 players committed to Penn State for the class of 2012 following Joe Paterno’s firing said Wednesday night they will take a wait-and-see approach.

"It’s a sad day for the PSU Nation,” three-star outside linebacker and Nittany Lion commit Nyeem Wartman of Archbald (Pa.) Valley View said.

Many of the recruits reached indicated they have no plans to change their pledges or open things up until a decision has been made on who the next head coach will be or if any current assistant coaches are retained.

Several recruits posted pictures of themselves with Paterno and posted notes saying “we are Penn State” on their Facebook pages.

Penn State currently has two players that rank in the ESPNU 150 and six four-star recruits. The Nittany Lions also have the No. 18 overall class in the nation.

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UPDATE: Four-star athlete Armani Reeves of West Roxbury (Mass.) Catholic Memorial said his emotions are still “raw” but didn’t have any additional comment on Paterno’s firing.

Reeves is the No. 1 player in Massachusetts and the No. 32 athlete in the nation. Reeves also ranks as the third-best recruit in the Penn State class. He committed to Penn State originally over offers from Stanford, UConn, Notre Dame, Boston College, Maryland and others.

Another recruit commented on the situation through Twitter.

Three-star offensive guard Anthony Stanko of Warren (Ohio) Howland replied, “You have no idea,” when he received a tweet saying he must be “livid” at the Paterno firing.

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Less than 24 hours after Joe Paterno announced his plans to retire at the end of the season, the Penn State Board of Trustees took the decision out of Paterno’s hands and relieved him of his duties as Penn State’s coach effective immediately.

Eugene Lewis, a four-star receiver from Plymouth (Pa.) Wyoming Valley West, reiterated his commitment to Penn State following the announcement.

“No, still committed to Penn State,” Lewis said.

In an interview Monday, Lewis said the fate of Paterno would not factor into his decision to stick with Penn State. Lewis has a stronger bond with the Penn State assistant coaches, and, as of now, only Paterno has been relieved of his duties. Lewis said that remains the same.

Another commitment, though, declined to discuss the situation.

Two-star cornerback Jake Kiley (New Hampton, N.H./New Hampton) wrote in a text message, “I have no comment at the time, sorry.”