Penn State added kicker Jake Pinegar to its Class of 2018 Sunday evening, just a day after they extended a scholarship offer to the Ankeny, Iowa, native.
Back in June, Pinegar came onto the radar screen when he attended one of Penn State’s satellite camps at the Northern Illinois. His performance that evening forced the staff to invite him to campus for the first time, which took place this past Friday, as he attended the White Out camp. After impressing the staff for a second time, head coach James Franklin decided to not hold off and wait until later in the season, verbally offering Pinegar Saturday morning before he flew home.
“I basically chose them because of everything I saw," Pinegar said. "The staff, the players, they’re all family. They make you feel at home from day one. They genuinely care about you and that’s important to me.
“They also have a very high level of academics, which is huge to me. I’ve always wanted to get away and write my own story, so this gives me a chance to do that with one of the best teams in the country. Honestly, my visit was amazing. Everyone was super friendly and it’s all one big family there. Their facilities are also some of the best in the country. There isn’t a better place to go.”
While Pinegar is expected to focus on kickoffs and field goals, one thing that impressed the coaching staff is the fact that some schools saw his potential as an athlete, as he excelled as a defensive back at Centennial High. He showed that athleticism firsthand Friday night, running a 4.79 second 40 and a 4.44 second shuttle. He also had a 9 foot, 6 inch broad jump and a 29 foot, 8 inch triple jump. Those stats, along with his consistency in the kicking game, led to the offer.
“They love that I was recruited as an athlete as well," he said. "But the main thing they liked was my leg strength. They also really liked that I’ve been able to pull through while under pressure, both during games and while camping the other night.”
Pinegar earned six total offers, including N. Illinois, Bowling Green and Indiana. Iowa was another program showing serious interest.
Blue White Illustrated will have much more on Pinegar in the near future.