January 28, 2010

Penn State picks up sleeper out of the south

The recruiting process for Nashville (Tenn.) Montgomery Bell Academy linebacker Brad Bars did not start out fast. Despite strong showings at offseason camps, good size and testing numbers, Bars' offer list was slow to populate. However, recent interest snowballed into a Thursday offer from Penn State and Bars accepted on the spot.

Bars had the opportunity to commit to the Penn State coaching staff in person when defensive line coach Larry Johnson flew down to Nashville on Thursday to offer Bars the scholarship at his home. The visit was an under the radar trip to say the least.

"I was in the locker room and Larry Johnson walked in with Brad's father and said, 'coach we've got ourself a Nittany Lion'," said Montgomery Bell head coach Daniel McGugin. "He said they offered Brad a full scholarship and he committed."

Throughout the season, interest began to trickle in from Ivy League programs, Army and Navy for Bars. He has also picked up recent offers from the likes of Georgia Southern, Central Michigan and Arkansas State. One school that did not come into the picture during the season was Penn State.

"It was abnormal how late in the game Penn State came in," McGugin said. "We hadn't heard anything from them at all and I hadn't heard anything from them until today."

Bars will play defensive end for Joe Paterno in State College and has played linebacker, tight end and defensive end on the high school level. His play was a big part of MBA's success this year.

After a slow start to the season following some injuries, Bars helped his team to a state championship game performance where the Big Red fell to nationally ranked Memphis University School.

"We're so excited for Brad," McGugin said. "This is a great achievement for Brad and for the MBA football program. He's worked hard over his high school career and done everything we've asked of him. He's a talented football player and we're excited to watch his career in the Big Ten."

After scrambling to set up an official visit for the final weekend before signing day to help decide his school of choice, Bars no longer has to deal with that uncertainty. As a Nittany Lion commit, Bars will be on campus this weekend for an official visit before signing with Penn State on National Signing Day.



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