January 23, 2012 - 10:46 AM
St. Francis standout running back Akeel Lynch has verbally committed to Penn State.
He did so via his Twitter page late Sunday night: "Making my dreams become a reality. #weare #pennstate".
Lynch, a 6-foot, 204-pound native of Toronto, originally verbally committed to Boston College last July 15 (our story is here; watch our video interview with him that day about his decision on the blog).
At the time, he said he selected BC over Penn State.
That was long before the news broke -- in November -- of the child sex abuse charges against former Penn State assistant Jerry Sandusky. The tumultous months that followed included the school's firing of legendary coach Joe Paterno, the hiring of current New England Patriots offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien earlier this month to replace him, and Paterno's death on Sunday.
Lynch's committment to Boston College became more and more tenuous as the high school season came and went. Lynch did participate in a recruiting trip to BC on Dec. 3, which caused him to miss the Connolly Cup awards banquet (he was one of 10 finalists).
After his successful senior season -- during which St. Francis won the Monsignor Martin Association championship -- Lynch began to received more recruiting attention.
In early January, he told Boston College that he would be considering other schools. Iowa and Oklahoma had coaches visit Lynch. On Monday, Lynch said Penn State was a finalist along with Iowa, Ole Miss and Oklahoma.
Lynch visited Iowa in early January, had a visit to Oklahoma canceled when a snowstorm canceled his flight, and he visited Penn State this past weekend.
The first day football recruits can sign with schools is Feb. 1. Lynch will make his official announcement then during a ceremony at the Athol Springs school.
Lynch was a first-team All-Western New York running back, the runner-up for The News Player of the Year award (it went to St. Joe's QB and Clemson commit Chad Kelly) and was selected as New York State's Gatorade Player of the Year. Lynch ran for a Monsignor Martin single-season record 2,136 yards in his senior season.
A highlight game in his highlight season was running for five touchdowns and a school-record 376 yards on 31 carries (the totals were updated after the game) in St. Francis' 42-27 win at fellow top 10 large school Bishop Timon-St. Jude on Oct. 7. Check out the PrepTalkTV video from that game:
Other PrepTalkTV videos featuring Lynch: Week Six wrapup (including his postgame comments on Timon game), Monsignor Martin semifinals and Monsignor Martin championship.
More to come.
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