It is national signing day for high school student athletes declaring where they are heading to college.
For some recruits considering Penn State it has been a tough decision in recent months after the sex abuse scandal and all the uncertainty that followed.
Despite all that, Nyeem Wartman at Valley View High School signed Wednesday to be a Nittany Lion.
Valley View High School called a student assembly because the district in Lackawanna County had so many students signing letters of intent to go to Division I college sports teams, four football players and three from other sports.
Of the seven, football linebacker Nyeem Wartman decided to play big time college football at Penn State.
“I just started playing football here and from there everything became a dream. My dream became a reality,” he said.
Getting to this day, signing as a Nittany Lion, hasn’t been an easy one for Wartman.
Last summer he said he was going to Penn State.
Then Jerry Sandusky was arrested. Scandal rocked Happy Valley. Joe Paterno got fired.
As Wartman finished his stellar career at Valley View he had second thoughts and started looking elsewhere.
“I was torn because I really liked Rutgers and Penn State. I liked them a lot, but they didn’t really have a coach, but once they got that figured out, I knew where my heart was. It was at Penn State,” Wartman added.
It helped when he and his mother got to meet with new Penn State head coach Bill O’Brien during the final weeks before signing day.
“New coach, oh, he’s fiery. He commands a lot out of you, so I’m looking forward to that this year,” Wartman said.
“Honestly, I met with Bill O’Brien, but I think it’s a new beginning for Penn State, not only for Penn State but for the new recruits and him so I think it’s going to be something special this year,” said Wartman’s mother, Veronica White.
Now, mother and son are happy with the decision, that this linebacker is going to Linebacker U.
“I feel more comfortable and safe that he’s attending there, that he’s going to get the education and he’s in good hands,” White added.
“It was just a bad time for Penn State and I’m glad I stuck with them. We’re going to bring the tradition back,” Wartman said.
The other recruit from our area making a commitment to Penn State Wednesday is Eugene Lewis who played football at Wyoming Valley West. He is signing a letter of intent Wednesday night.