Troy Reeder sat at his desk inside Salesianum (Del.) High School last week, reading or listening to his teachers when the classroom computer beeped.
That high-pitched ding, signaling an instant message, meant someone had to report to the principal's office -- and three times it was for the 2014 linebacker. But he wasn't in trouble. Coaches from Penn State, Maryland and Virginia just stopped by.
"Some of the teachers don't understand what's happening, and others joke around with me because I get called down quite a bit," Reeder said with a laugh. "Our head coach is the school disciplinarian so, usually, when people get those messages, it's not a good thing."
The junior linebacker's season just ended this past weekend, so he's trying to talk to coaches and focus on his recruitment. He wants to make several visits this winter because he hopes to commit by the early summer.
He doesn't have any trips planned, but he knows he wants to stop by Penn State. He's driven twice to Happy Valley -- once for the Ohio State game and for a summer camp. But he wants to truly experience student life.
On the day of the PSU-OSU game, the campus was flooded with traffic jams and fans dressed in blue and white. Over the summer, few students walked downtown, and the campus was nearly empty.
But over the winter? Reeder thinks that might be a perfect indicator of what an average day at Penn State is like.
"I want to try to re-create my day as if I'm a student there to see what kind of life I'd be living," said Reeder, who holds a PSU offer. "I just want to see it in session where it's just a normal kind of day and maybe check out classes and see some libraries and where the business school is."
The 6-foot-3, 232-pound prospect chatted with linebackers coach Ron Vanderlinden briefly last week, and he acknowledged Penn State is a school he could envision himself at. But he said it was too early to list favorites because he's only seen the football side of most schools.
"Being on Penn State's field, in the middle of the field with 110,000 people down there, that's pretty mesmerizing," he said. "But I want to check out what they have to offer academically. I know it's strong, but I want to check out the finer details of each place and see if that's where I'd like to go."
Reeder called proximity to home a priority and also labeled academics and coaching relationships important elements. He said he already enjoys strong bonds with Virginia and Penn State's Vanderlinden, but he just wants to make sure they aren't going anywhere.
In the meantime, he hopes to research what he can on the Internet, talk to his parents and figure out where he'll visit over the winter -- and hear those classroom laptops beep a few more times.