It’s hard to believe that signing day for the 2012 recruiting class was nearly three and a half months ago. As those young men close out their high school careers and prepare for the next level, we’re going to check back in with them.
Anthony Stanko was the first player committed to the 2012 class. It seemed fitting to start with him.
Anthony, you committed pretty early-on (March 19, 2011). When did you know Penn State was right for you?
My first visit to Penn State was for the night game against Michigan-the whiteout. Just waslking out of the tunnel and seeing the crowd, it was amazing. It seemed like the whole game, they never stopped cheering. I can’t say enough about the fans. I took an unofficial visit after that and got to see the facilities and meet with the coaches. Everything was top of the line. After that and the game experience, I couldn’t imaging playing anywhere else and I wanted it to be over.
In November, there were some recruits that changed their minds or turned away from Penn State but nothing ever came out of your “camp.” Did you ever reconsider your decision to attend Penn State?
I think it crossed every one of our minds. We didn’t talk to the media for a week or week and a half. With Penn State being such a great place, we wanted to let it play out. I never really considered decommitting.
When was your first meeting with Coach O’Brien? What were your first impressions?
It was at my official visit this past Winter (Jan 13). He had a 15 minute meeting with each of us. He was really straight forward and talked to us like we were adults. He said we are going to be a hard working team. That a lot of things would stay the same. We’ll be students first, we’ll work in the community and we’ll alos be great football players. A lot of people think that pro coaches are just in it for the money, but O’Brien is not that kind of guy. It’s like he was meant to be a college coach.
What was your proudest high school moment, athletically?
Probably our last two games against (Warren) Harding. We were underdogs my junior year but we pretty much played the perfect game. They became our biggest rivalry while I was in high school. Last year, they were better than their record showed. As far as a personal moment, against Lliberty, I had 3 pancakes in one play. I had always wanted to do that. I got the defensive tackle across from me, then the linebacker and finally a safety. That play set up a touchdown on the next play.
(Editors note: At a recent weight lifting competition, Anthony bench pressed 350 lbs., squatted 475 lbs. and deadlifted 520 pounds. He was disappointed in his squat and deadlift numbers, saying they “should have been higher.”)
What number will you be wearing at Penn State?
I originally requested #56 but there was a position change and it’s taken so I’ll be wearing #50 as far as I know.
What are your goals for your freshman season?
I want to keep my GPA up around 3.5-3.6. After 2 years, my GPA will decide my studies. If I have a 3.2, it will be Business Management but if I have at least a 3.5, I can study finance. Playing time would be nice, and I’m going to give it my best shot, but I’m not all that opposed to a redshirt.
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