The future home of the Class of 2012. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
"Today was crazy."
Truer words, never spoken. Jake Kiley was just one of more than 1000 recruits that would sign a national letter of intent with the school of their choice Wednesday. But for Penn State fans, his emotional roller coaster over the past three months is something commit and fan already have in common.
"After everything that's happened over the past couple months, it's nice to just put it all behind us and just start new," said Kiley, eagerly looking forward to actually playing some football for Penn State, rather than just talk about it.
And Penn State fans everywhere are eager for the same. Let's play some football.
A July commit to Penn State, Kiley looked forward to playing college football with two close friends, Cam Williams and Armani Reeves. Each of them would commit to Penn State within the subsequent three months, but the incidents of early November changed all of that.
"In the end, they had to do what's best for them and their families, and they thought that Ohio State was the best fit for them."
Kiley is happy for his friends, but when asked if it would be a different story once they meet on the field, the New Hampshire product stated simply "Oh yea!" Kiley is heading to State College on June 23 to being summer session, and said he is most looking forward to working out with the guys, a sense of camaraderie, of we-can-do-this-togetherness, that seems to permeate this class.
On the other side of the ball, Georgia quarterback Steven Bench is equally excited.
"Just pure excitement. Yesterday was one of the best days of my life. It's almost hard to believe that I'm going to play football for Penn State."
The one-time Rice commit is anxious to come in and compete right away. Given the quarterbacks ahead of him and the fact that none of them are the clear cut starter heading into 2012, Bench should have that opportunity.
"That's what playing football is all about - competing. I'm just going to work as hard as I can and become the best I can be."
Like Kiley, Bench will head to Happy Valley at the end of June for summer session. And also like Kiley, Bench will likely be rooming with a fellow incoming Class of 2012 commit. As of now, who that will be is unknown. But Bench knows who he'd like to room with, a preference that should put him ahead of the game once the time comes for the competition to begin.
"I'm going to ask to with one of the incoming receivers," Bench said, before finishing the interview with a resounding "I'm just looking forward to football!!"
We all are, Steven. We all are.