Big Weekend: Penn State +2, Ohio State -1
Busy weekend for the local juniors attending the Nike Combine up in State College. First, Lackey defensive back Darrell Givens decommitted from Ohio State in order to commit to Penn State. Then Eleanor Roosevelt wide receiver-cornerback Derrick Thomas committed to play for the Nittany Lions.
First, a look at Thomas, who is 6-1 and 180 pounds. He also had scholarship offers from Maryland, Illinois and Pittsburgh.
"He went up there and he liked it," Roosevelt first-year coach Tom Green said. "I don't like kids playing the recruiting game. If you've been on campus everywhere [you are considering] and you know where you want to go, tell them, don't string them along. I know [Maryland offensive coordinator James] Franklin thought he had a good shot at him. I did too."
As for Givens, it was only three weeks ago that he decided to accept a scholarship offer from Ohio State. However, it did not take long for Givens to consider other options. Lackey Coach Doug Lamb said that Givens contacted Penn State's coaches around the first of the month to say he was interested and they made a trip to the Southern Maryland school last week.
"I could go into Penn State and make an impact as a freshman, earlier than I would be able to at Ohio State," Givens said. "After I committed I started looking deeper and deeper into the situation I was putting myself into. Me playing as a freshman was very important."
Lamb said he wished Givens had taken more time before changing his mind, worrying about the player "burning bridges" by making a decision and changing it so soon, particularly to a conference rival. Givens, though, said, "I didn't want to decommit and put myself back on the market and have all these other schools coming at me and distracting me from my academics and qualifying."
Givens said he previously had narrowed his choices to Ohio State and Penn State, with Miami (Fla.) a third option. While he said he now is certain of his decision to choose Penn State's scholarship offer, Givens is aware that some people might think he could waffle again. Lamb hopes that doesn't happen, but acknowledged, "This is a 17-year-old kid," Lamb said. "He changed his mind in three weeks. The odds would be in that favor [of changing again]. I would hope he wouldn't, but you never know."
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