Adam Breneman a big get for PSU
Bill O'Brien played critical role in Under Armour All-America tight end's decision
CAMP HILL, Pa. -- Adam Breneman had only one hat underneath the podium. It was the hat he dreamt of putting on since growing up just 90 minutes outside of Beaver Stadium.
With Penn State shirts and jackets littered in the Cedar Cliff High School gym, Breneman, a tight end that ranks among the nation's elite at any position and an Under Armour All-American, committed to the Nittany Lions in a news conference Friday evening.
"It was the best fit for me and everything I was looking for," Breneman said.
"I get along with the player. The coaches are great. Coach (Bill) O'Brien knows how to use the tight end, develop the tight end."
Arguably the nation's No. 1 tight end, the 6-foot-5, 225-pound Breneman has more than 30 offers from nearly all of the country's elite programs. Maryland, Notre Dame, Ohio State and Penn State were his finalists, but February unofficial visits to the Terrapins and Buckeyes were not enough to sway the lifelong Penn State fan.
Breneman is a big get for O'Brien, who already had secured three promising prospects for the 2013 class before the highly-regarded tight end committed. But none of them compare to the commitment from Breneman.
Almost certain to be Pennsylvania's top prospect, O'Brien had to make sure to keep Breneman in the state.
Too often over the last several years the Keystone State's elite prospects traveled outside the borders to attend a rival school. Noah Spence, the state's top player and No. 4 player overall in 2012's class, signed with Ohio State after being a long-time Nitttany Lion lean.
"I want to be a leader in this recruiting class and part of the reason I wanted to do it so early," Breneman said.
"I want to be a special kid along with Christian (Hackenberg) and some of the other guys on board already and put together one of the best classes in the country and keep this healing process going and bring back the great tradition of Penn State football."
Breneman said there was a time following the Jerry Sandusky scandal where he wasn't as high on Penn State as many believed him to be.
How bad did O'Brien want Breneman back in the fold?
Cedar Cliff head coach Jim Cantafio said O'Brien gave him trouble for being a Yankees fan with O'Brien being a Red Sox fan. When he found out Cantafio was Breneman's coach, O'Brien jokingly got on his knees and pleaded for Cantafio to forgive him.
"Coach O'Brien said I was the first guy he watched tape on," Breneman said.
"He was after me as soon as he got hired. I developed a great relationship with him. He's a great guy. I couldn't be playing for a better coach."
As a junior, Breneman hauled in 72 passes for more than 1,100 yards and scored 12 touchdowns. He did much of that damage with a torn labrum in each shoulder that required offseason surgery.
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