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Penn State lands QB recruit from Indiana | TribLIVE.com
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Penn State lands QB recruit from Indiana

Tribune-Review
| Monday, November 10, 2014 9:12 p.m
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Barry Reeger | Trib Total Media
Baldwin's Sterling Jenkins take a selfie with Penn State coach James Franklin and fellow recruits Tommy Stevens (center) and Matthew Burrell on Saturday, Oct. 25, 2014, in University Park.

Penn State on Saturday won its first game since mid-September. Two days later, it received its first verbal commitment since then.

Quarterback Tommy Stevens flipped his commitment from Indiana to Penn State, Stevens’ coach at Decatur Central (Ind.) High School, Justin Dixson, confirmed. The 6-foot-3, 196-pound senior is rated by Rivals.com as the No. 15 dual-threat quarterback for the Class of 2015.

“After carefully weighing out my options, my family and I have decided that it is in my best interest to commit to Penn State,” read a message posted on Stevens’ Twitter page. “It was a tough decision to leave home but I have to do what I feel like is best for me.”

Stevens committed during the summer to his home-state Hoosiers, the team PSU defeated to snap a four-game losing streak Saturday. He becomes the first prospect to commit to Penn State since its losing streak began Sept. 27 and the first since the Lions lost a quarterback for this upcoming class. Brandon Wimbush of New Jersey flipped from PSU to Notre Dame early last month.

According to Rivals.com, Stevens had 15 scholarship offers, including those from West Virginia, Michigan State, Nebraska and North Carolina State.

Stevens’ style and athleticism is viewed as congruent with what Penn State offensive coordinator John Donovan ran with success at Vanderbilt.

“He’s a perfect fit,” said Baldwin offensive lineman Sterling Jenkins, one of the other 18 Penn State commitments in a 2015 class that ranks among the top 15 nationally by all four major recruiting websites.

“I think he fits perfectly into the student-athlete mold we want to bring to Penn State. He was a great guy before I even knew of his skill on the field, which is also a great thing. It’s not hard recruiting friends.”

The depth chart behind sophomore starter Christian Hackenberg at quarterback for Penn State includes a walk-on in D.J. Crook and two freshmen who are redshirting in Trace McSorley and Michael O’Connor.

Indiana was down to its third-string quarterback, true freshman Zander Diamont, for the loss against Penn State in which it did not score a point on offense.

Since Union City, N.J., linebacker Daiquan Kelly announced he was attending Penn State on Sept. 14, PSU’s recruiting momentum under new coach James Franklin had slowed. The school lost out on Central Valley’s Jordan Whitehead, who picked Pitt, saw Wimbush decommit and dropped Myles Hartsfield from its class after his school was embroiled in a lewd hazing scandal.

With an on-field win came one on the recruiting trail, too. Stevens’ hometown of Decatur is less than three hours from the IU campus.

“Great day to be a Nittany Lion! #WeAre excited about future AND focused on being 1-0 this week. #ReturnedHomeWithMoreThanADub” Penn State offensive line coach Herb Hand posted on his Twitter account.

Verbal commitments are nonbinding until signing day in February.

Chris Adamski is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at cadamski@tribweb.com or via Twitter @C_AdamskiTrib.

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