City WR Adrian Coxson talks Penn State commitment
With more than 76,000 fans in attendance at Penn State’s spring game Saturday, the level of noise was no surprise. But what many of those PSU supporters were cheering did come as a bit of a shock.
“They were screaming my name, asking for my autograph,” Coxson said. “I didn’t really prepare for that. I wasn’t expecting all of that. But I just wished that it would happen and it really happened.”
Starting in the fall of 2010, Coxson can expect similar reactions from the PSU faithful on a regular basis. Coxson committed to Penn State this week and made his decision public Thursday.
As a junior, Coxson caught 35 passes for 985 yards and 12 touchdowns, according to Digital Sports. The 6-foot-2, 194-pounder emerged as the most high-profile junior in the Baltimore area. After the season, Coxson was rated a four-star prospect and the No. 158 overall prospect in the country by Rivals.com.
Coxson’s scholarship list soon reflected that four-star status. Florida, Georgia, Maryland, Michigan, Notre Dame, Pittsburgh, Virginia Tech and West Virginia were among the many schools that offered. Penn State, however, always stood out.
“I didn’t really want to do a top five list or anything like that. I just wanted to [decide] where I wanted to go,” Coxson said. “I had told my coach that I really liked Penn State and that was my dream school. When I finally got a chance to go see it, it was just like I pictured it and everything was like it was on TV. I liked it.”
Coxson made the City varsity squad as a freshman but played sparingly. Playing major college football was the furthest thing from his mind, and Coxson said there were times he thought of quitting. City coach George Petrides kept pushing and encouraging, and Coxson’s role as a sophomore expanded dramatically.
Coxson’s successful 10th-grade campaign coincided with his introduction to former Knights star Bryant Johnson. Johnson, a former Penn State standout and current Detroit Lions wide receiver, served as motivation for Coxson.
“[Johnson comes back to City] whenever he can get back,” Coxson said. “He comes back and he’s a good influence on the team and the players. It’s good to see somebody from your school [be that successful] and show what they’re capable of doing.”
Johnson stayed impartial when it came to recruiting, but Coxson didn’t need much convincing in the first place. He was sold on the football program long before Penn State showed interest. The Nittany Lions accounted for that fact throughout the recruiting process.
“They didn’t even really talk about football,” Coxson said. “They talked about academics and the education, about finishing your degree. [PSU head coach] Joe Paterno never talked to me about football. He was always talking about school.”
Coxson, who’s interested in studying sports medicine, said he appreciated that approach, as did his mother, Altoviese Hogan.
The spring game was an eye-opening introduction to Penn State football for Coxson. Now he’s just waiting for the real thing.
“I can’t wait to walk out in that stadium, walk on the field and hear the fans,” Coxson said. “I can imagine it. It’s going to be a dream.”
Click on the YouTube player for highlights of Coxson.