St. John’s Prep football coach Jim O’Leary has confirmed that highly-touted running back, Johnathan Thomas, has de-committed from Maryland, in turn, accepting a scholarship offer from Penn State.
“That was always Johnny’s first choice,” said O’Leary, who has strong ties to Nittany Lion head coach Bill O’Brien, a Prep alum.
“He came into practice the first day as a freshman wearing a Penn State football hat, and he’s always had this idea that Penn State is his dream school.”
Penn State - which has a limited number of football scholarships in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky scandal - initially did not offer Thomas a scholarship, so he accepted Maryland’s offer in the spring.
But in late September, five Nittany Lion scholarships were reinstated, and Penn State made him an offer before he faced Everett on Sept. 28.
Penn State tight ends coach John Strollo attended that game, in which Thomas, then leading the state in rushing, tore his anterior cruciate ligament; but the offer remained.
“He was really committed to Maryland, there was no place else he wanted to go, but when that new information came across that he got the scholarship he always wanted, things changed,” said O’Leary
“Clearly, Penn State has been his first choice for a very long time.”
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- Bob Holmes: A Reading resident (Go Rockets!) and Boston College graduate, Holmes is the Boston Globe High School Sports Editor. We remind you now that his weekly picks are often made in jest so everyone just calm down when he picks against Everett for 11 straight weeks. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeHolmes.
- Craig Larson: A native of West Springfield (Leo Durocher anyone? Tim Daggett?) and Curry College graduate (a proud Colonel!), Larson is the sports editor for the Globe's regional sections: South, West and North, as well as a frequent contributor on the college beat. Abington to Xaverian: it all starts with the schools. Have a compelling story idea? Contact him at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeLars.
- Zuri Berry: Berry attended the same high school as sports legends O.J. Simpson and Joe DiMaggio. (Guess which one is his hero.) He's a South Boston resident (formerly of Eastie) and the editor of the High School Sports blog as well as the go-to-guy for everything high school sports on Boston.com. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @GlobeSchools for all of the latest updates.
Then there are our fall correspondents:
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- Eric Russo | @erusso22 | Div. 2 football
- Stephen Sellner | @stephen_sellner | Div. 3 football
- Andrew MacDougall | @Andy_MacDougall | Div. 4 football
- Greg Joyce | @GJoyce9 | Div. 5 football
- Lorenzo Recupero | @LorenzoRecupero | Div. 6 football
- Liz Torres | @etorres446 | Girls volleyball
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