After getting a head start on future classes over the last couple of weeks, Penn State got back to the job of finishing its 2015 class on Friday by getting a surprise commitment from national top-200 cornerback John Reid.
A 5-foot-10, 180-pound, four-star recruit from St. Joseph's Prep in Philadelphia, Reid was chosen the southeastern Pennsylvania player of the year last fall by CBS's affiliate there, KYW-TV after leading the Hawks to their first PIAA championship in Class AAAA last fall.
Reid also was a first team all-southeastern Pennsylvania selection by the Philadelphia Inquirer.
It appeared Reid was going to take more time before making his choice, although Penn State was long considered one of his top schools.
"It will feel like home being up there and I thought it was Penn State all along, but at the same time I had to make sure," Reid told the television station. "I thought it was best place for me. I am happy to get this over and focus on the season and my team. They're projecting me to play cornerback there. Coach (James) Franklin was really excited to hear from me. I wanted to keep everything balanced. Miami was a close second. There was a new addition to my family, and the more and more it's made me want to stay close to home.
"It was funny, my mom reminded me when I was nine that I always told her that I'd go to Penn State. The Penn State tradition is a big thing for me. And I want to graduate college. It's more than just football. I want to be the first in my family to graduate college. I wanted to make sure I wanted to go to a school that after football, I won't have any worries at all."
Michigan State, Notre Dame and Alabama also were high on Reid's list, according to reports.
Reid, who runs a 4.43 40-yard dash, made four interceptions last season, three of which came in the playoffs. He also caught 41 passes.
Scout.com ranks his ability to change of direction and closing speed among Reid's biggest attributes.
"Going into the year, we placed John in roles he wasn't necessarily comfort with. We had needs in certain spots, and John being John, he did everything he had to do to be sufficient in his new roles," St. Joe's coach Gabe Infante said to KYW. "He worked extremely hard in working on being an outside receiving threat. We always knew he was tremendous player on defense."
Penn State now has 19 verbal commitments in a class expected to finish with around 25 recruits by signing day in February. Cornerback is considered an area the Lions were working hard to address in this class, and a number of analysts expect them to try to bring in at least one more - Central Valley's Jordan Whitehead, who also is looking closely at Ohio State and West Virginia, seems to be the highest uncommitted corner on the Lions' list.