Marcus McShepard reclined on his couch, munching on pepperoni-and-bacon pizza when his phone started to buzz. At 11 p.m. on a Friday, he figured it might be a wrong number -- but he was curious.
So the senior clicked to accept the call. And the voice on the other line turned out to be a coach -- Penn State assistant Stan Hixon -- from the biggest school he's heard from yet.
"It was just kind of out of the blue, but it was pretty cool to get a random call like that right after a win," said McShepard, a cornerback out of Cleveland Heights (Ohio). "He just introduced himself and asked how the game was and just touched base."
That call happened about four weeks ago, but McShepard said he's remained in close contact with Hixon. The coach told him the staff broke down his film and liked what it saw, but it would also like to see his ACT scores before possibly offering.
McShepard took the exam Oct. 27, and he let out a big sigh when asked if he was stressed out waiting for the scores, which should be posted by December: "Oh yeah, really stressed."
But that isn't stopping the 5-foot-11, 180-pound senior from visiting Happy Valley. He and his teammate De'Niro Laster will be in the bleachers for Saturday's game against Indiana.
"Going to play at Penn State together is probably one of the biggest opportunities I could take right now," said McShepard, who holds eight offers, mostly from MAC schools, "especially, since growing up, that's one of the schools I grew up watching."
McShepard said he wouldn't commit on the spot if offered, but signing with Penn State "would definitely be a huge consideration."
In the meantime, McShepard is trying his best to remain level-headed about those test scores. Hixon told him he was fighting for Penn State to offer him a scholarship, and he was also informed that secondary coach John Butler would soon stop by at Cleveland Heights.
"It's been real stressful, but hopefully the scores will be online soon," he added.