For most Penn State students, today is just a typical first day of class returning from winter break for another semester, but for five football players, it is the beginning of their academic careers at Penn State. For some, the trip to Happy Valley is simply a short drive while one comes to State College from all the way across the country.
More on the five enrollees below:
Adam Breneman (Pictured above, far left)
Breneman’s name has been mentioned numerous times on this website over the past year. After committing to Penn State last March during a memorable Friday night announcement, the five star tight end has been a vocal leader for the 2013 recruiting class and is good friends with highly-touted quarterback Christian Hackenberg (pictured above, middle) who will join the Nittany Lions this summer.
After tearing his ACL last summer during a practice, Breneman turned his attention to fundraising. Inspired by his friend and neighbor Tom Kirchhoff, Breneman has raised more than $100,000 for Project A.L.S. with his “Catch The Cure” campaign. From Cedar Cliff High School in Camp Hill, Pennsylvania, Breneman graduated high school early a few weeks ago so he could get a head start at Penn State. Expectations are sky high for a special player and person as his college career gets underway. If you see Breneman walking around campus today, perhaps you can point him in the right direction of his class or give him advice on a good place to eat.
Def gonna get lost going to classes tomorrow hahaha
— Adam Breneman (@AdamBreneman81) January 6, 2013
After Iowa Western junior college quarterback Jake Waters committed to Kansas State in December, Penn State turned its attention to Ferguson who is originally from Visalia, California and spent this fall at The College of the Sequoias. He will have three years of eligibility remaining and will have a chance to compete for playing time right away with him and Steven Bench being the only two scholarship quarterbacks on the roster when spring practice begins.
A three star running back prospect from Frederick, Maryland, Anderson visited this past season for the Ohio State game and committed a day later, choosing the Nittany Lions over offers from Boston College, Maryland, Illinois, Rutgers, Temple, Wake Forest, and East Carolina. The backfield will be crowded with Zach Zwinak, Akeel Lynch, and Bill Belton already in the fold, but enrolling early should help Anderson compete for carries and playing time. Anderson’s father, Richie, played for the Nittany Lions in the early 1990s before enjoying a long and successful NFL career that saw him make the Pro Bowl with the Jets during the 2000 season.
After spending this past season playing on both sides of the ball at Valley Forge Military Academy, Smith, who committed in December, comes to Penn State looking to make an impact as a defensive back. With a rather thin secondary including the departure of senior cornerback Stephon Morris, he will have a chance to crack the rotation right away.
From the Washington D.C. area and recruited by Larry Johnson Sr., Smith is another cornerback who will have a chance to make an immediate impact in the secondary. Smith chose the Nittany Lions over Colorado and Kansas and was the first player to commit to the Nittany Lions following the sanctions this summer.