Jake Kiley, DB, New Hampton School (New Hampton, N.H.)
Hey, look, it's the New Hampshire Gatorade Player Of The Year, you guys! The 6'2", 180-pound Kiley is expected to add instant depth to the relatively barren Penn State defensive backfield. As you'd expect for someone of Kiley's credentials, his high school alma mater is quick to praise him:
Kiley piled up accolades in the last three years. A three-time all-New England selection, he was also a two-time Evergreen League MVP and the All New England NEPSAC Player of the year as a senior. He was also the Gatorade New Hampshire Player of the Year and Boston Globe All-Scholastic. As a defensive back, he intercepted 17 passes and had 127 tackles in 35 games. Despite injuries in his senior season, he finished his career with 29 passing touchdowns and 29 rushing touchdowns from his quarterback position. He also caught five passes for touchdowns as a receiver.
"I’m excited for the opportunity to graduate with a meaningful degree, and play at the highest level of college football in front of the best fans in the country," Kiley said.
And how did he react to The Thing?
"It was tough losing some of the coaches that I have grown close with, and all of the negative media that surrounded the program was tough to deal with," Kiley said. "Then to top it all off the passing of Coach Paterno was the final test of will. However, throughout the whole thing the fans and the school stayed positive and were very encouraging towards me. They helped to ease everything that had taken place."
Also, any trepidation Kiley had about the new coaching staff was set aside almost immediately by Bill O'Brien and company:
Kiley said that O'Brien is 100 percent committed to the Penn State program and his energy was one of the things that convinced Kiley to stick with Penn State.
"He's in it 100 percent," Kiley said. "He's so competitive, it made me want to play while I was in the room."
O'Brien noted that Kiley, who played defensive back at New Hampton, as well as quarterback and all sorts of special teams duties, will be getting his first looks at cornerback this summer as the new college football season gets under way.
Jeff Junstrom spoke with Kiley, who is very eager to get to Happy Valley.
"I'm so excited, I cant wait to get there! I'm looking forward to meeting my teammates and finally getting on the field."