Connor Morehart (Shillington, Pa./Governor Mifflin) felt his pulse quicken Saturday when he stepped through Penn State's south tunnel.
The defensive tackle, who lives about 2.5 hours from campus, usually watches from Beaver Stadium's bleachers once or twice a season. He even attended a camp over the summer. But he never before stood on the field while the crowd chanted behind him.
"It was unbelievable. I was speechless; I just didn't know what to say. I was in shock," said Morehart, who has also visited Rutgers and Ohio State. "My mom was in shock, my dad was going nuts. Even if I don't get an offer, it's something I'll never forget."
The 6-foot-4, 270-pound junior holds an offer from Rutgers and hears from schools as far south as Miami (Fla.) and as far north as Connecticut. He plans to visit West Virginia this Saturday and Pitt the following week.
But he wants to visit Happy Valley at least one more time.
Morehart grew up wearing clothes emblazoned with the Nittany Lion logo and said his interest level in PSU hasn't changed because of the sanctions. He declined to call Penn State a favorite -- emphasizing he was still very much open -- but his tone picked up when he talked about a potential offer.
"I think it would be pretty cool to play for Penn State," he said. "I definitely like them a lot. I hope I get an offer from them because I'd have to consider them. They would probably be in my top 5."
Morehart keeps in touch with several coaches, but says he already considers Penn State assistant John Butler a mentor. He already reflects daily on one bit of advice the coach shared: Improve every day.
"He gives me really good life lessons," Morehart said. "We talk frequently, and he's just a motivational person. He's a really good guy."
Butler first visited Governor Mifflin around April and returned twice more to speak with Morehart's coach. He told Morehart the staff planned to evaluate him through the season and possibly offer based on that.
Morehart realizes that offer may not come before he decides to attend another Penn State game. But he didn't seem to mind.
"That wasn't just another college visit," he said. "It was really cool for me. Penn State's definitely a top choice if I got offered. I like Penn State a lot."