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November 16, 2004

King talks about PSU commitment

Pittsburgh (Pa.) Gateway cornerback Justin King stunned a lot of people when he chose Penn State over Michigan and others Monday evening. However, it wasn't a big surprise to King.

"I knew for a couple of weeks and my official visit just pretty much cemented it for me," said the 6-foot-0, 183-pounder who is ranked as the No. 1 cornerback in the country and the No. 9 player overall. "I just felt more comfortable with Penn State and the coaches. They recruited me harder than anyone down the stretch."

That recruiting included 30 hand-written letters to King from defensive coordinator Tom Bradley, the same coach who recruited King's step-father and coach, Terry Smith to PSU years ago.

"Being familiar with the coaches was a big deal for me," he said. "And I think they will turn things around and I can be a part of that. I'm enrolling in January and they said I have a very good chance of playing as a true freshman."

King was also recruited for the offensive side of the ball.

"They said I might play both ways and see some time on offense," he said. "They want to use my speed."

King asked the obvious question of Joe Paterno.

"We talked about the future and he said he would be at Penn State for as long as he can bring in players," King said. "He's a great coach and, if he leaves, I know he'll leave the program in good shape. I picked Penn State for a lot of different reasons and not just the coaches."

King was solid in his decision.

"I know a lot of people thought I would go to Michigan, but Penn State is what I've grown up on and I feel comfortable," he said. "My dad had nothing to do with it, but my mom was big on Penn State. That helped too."

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