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Penn State Signs Their 15th Commitment...For The Class of 2008!

This came as a shock when I found out today, but apparently Penn State extended a late offer to Andrew Radakovich several months after this last signing day, and he accepted it.

 It was a long, frustrating road for Andrew Radakovich.

The 6-foot-5, 265-pound Steubenville Big Red graduate turned down four scholarship offers - Youngstown State, the Citadel, Robert Morris and VMI - for one simple reason.

"It was pretty disappointing because I knew I could play at a higher level," he said. "I knew kids who were going to MAC schools and I knew I could compete with them.

"It was so stressful. Signing day passed and I did not know where I was going to go. Another month passed and nothing happened. It was frustrating to sit back and wait.

"Some of the schools were easier to turn down than others. But, it was pretty hard turning down all that money."

Radakovich then turned down the University of Pittsburgh.

"I turned Pitt down because I wanted to go to Penn State," said Radakovich.

And, he is heading to Happy Valley, making the decision two months ago to play for coach Joe Paterno.

"My dad told me I had to be patient," said Radakovich. "And, coach Sac (Big Red head coach Reno Saccoccia) pretty much reiterated what my dad said to me.

"I had a feeling it would all work out in the end and it all worked out."

I checked, and the recruiting services have never heard of this kid. He litterally came out of nowhere, but he caught the eye of Dan Radakovich (no relation), a former PSU player, NFL assistant coach, and head coach of Robert Morris, who passed his tape on to Bill Kenney.

Andrew Radakovich's road to a full-ride scholarship to play football at Penn State for coach Joe Paterno came thanks to Dan Radakovich, who is no relation, but is the assistant head football coach at Robert Morris University - a place that Andrew Radakovich turned down.

Radakovich, who is retiring after 48 years of coaching, passed tapes of the Steubenville High School graduate onto to Bill Kenney, who is the offensive tackles and tight ends coach at Penn State, where Radakovich played, graduated from in 1957 and coached from 1957-1969.

Radakovich later was the offensive line coach for the Steelers from 1974-77, where he was a member of two winning Super Bowl teams.

"I've never met the man," said Bob Radakovich, Andrew's father and former offensive coordinator at Big Red since Reno Saccoccia was named head coach 25 years ago. "I remember him when he coached the Steelers. He was called 'Bad Rad.'

"He pronounces his name differently and coach Paterno told me he had to learn how to say Radakovich the way we pronounce it. I just appreciate what he did for Andrew.

"He sent Andrew's tape to Bill Kenney and told him, 'this kid can play.' That was a class act."

This sounds like a great story of a kid working hard and overcoming obstacles. One of the articles offers a reason why Radakovich flew so far under the radar.

Radakovich will be a young freshman, turning 18 two weeks ago.

"Most of the schools liked the fact I was young because they said I still had time to grow," said Radakovich.

"Coaches told me if he were going into his senior year, everybody would be recruiting him," said the elder Radakovich. "I made a mistake starting him early in school. It would have helped him having another year.

"He wasn't very good when he was younger. He just couldn't move. He's gotten better through hard work. He just has to apply that to the next level. But, it's up to him now. He'll have enough guys pushing him.

"His work ethic is in place and I'm not sure it's like that at every school. But, it is here. You have to be tough to get through our program. If they make it through this, they'll be prepared for the next level."

He must already be on campus as I see his name is on the roster for the Lift For Life competition. One article lists him at 265 lbs and the other lists him at 290 lbs. So I can't tell if he's going to be a guard or tackle, but I hope he does well wherever he plays. I envy him for being patient and living his dream.