The Penn State football team landed a blue-chip recruit Tuesday from, of all places, the University of Pittsburgh tennis team.
In a surprise, Miles Dieffenbach, the fast-rising prospect from Fox Chapel High School ranked as the No. 3 center nationally in the Class of 2010 by Scout.com, made a verbal commitment to the Nittany Lion coaches Joe Paterno and Tom Bradley while visiting University Park.
Dieffenbach's pledge was unexpected because the 6-foot-4, 277-pound senior-to-be is the son of the Pitt tennis coach. He grew up a fan of the Panthers.
"It was that gut feeling. It just felt right,'' Dieffenbach said Tuesday eveningof the reasons behind his quick pull of the trigger for Penn State. "The coaches are unbelievable, the academics are outstanding and the location is perfect for me - it's not too close to home but not too far away.''
Dieffenbach said Pitt was always his top school until Penn State made a scholarship offer about two weeks ago. Florida State and Virginia rounded out Dieffenbach's final four.
Dieffenbach's stock has been rising since he won the outstanding lineman award from the Nike Football Training Camp at Penn State a month ago. His number of scholarship offers jumped from two to nine afterward.
"It was definitely big. There were so many great players there,'' said Dieffenbach, who said colleges liked his footwork, aggressiveness and coachability.
Dieffenbach joins friend and former AAU basketball rival Luke Graham of Penn-Trafford as lineman in Penn State's 2010 recruiting class.
"It's great to have somebody I already know on board,'' Graham said.