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JJ Denman Switches His Decision To Wisconsin Over Penn State

High School Football Frenzy
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jj denman2 santoliquito1 JJ Denman Switches His Decision To Wisconsin Over Penn State

Top 10
Week of Oct. 24, 2011:

1. Archbishop Wood (Record: 7-1. Previous Week: 1. Weeks Rated: 9.)
2. La Salle (Record: 7-1. Previous Week: 2. Weeks Rated: 9.)
3. Abington (Record: 8-0. Previous Week: 3. Weeks Rated: 6.)
4. Council Rock South (Record: 7-1. Previous Week: 4. Weeks Rated: 9.)
5. Malvern Prep (Record: 6-1. Previous Week: 5. Weeks Rated: 8.)
6. Plymouth Whitemarsh (Record: 6-1. Previous Week: 6. Weeks Rated. 3.)
7. Unionville (Record: 7-1. Previous Week: 7. Weeks Rated. 3.)
8. Garnet Valley (Record: 7-1. Previous Week: NR. Weeks Rated: 1.)
9. Bayard Rustin (Record: 7-1. Previous Week: 10. Weeks Rated: 2.)
10. West Chester Henderson (Record: 6-2. Previous Week: NR. Weeks Rated: 1.)

PHILADELPHIA (CBS)J.J. Denman still gets calls, but it’s been narrowed to just Rutgers. He’s even taken a few shots that lit up some message boards—particularly Penn State message boards—about his recent decision. But the bottom line is, Denman, Pennsbury’s massive 6-foot-6, 310-pound center, has to be happy with where he is going—not what others want.

Denman doesn’t want to question himself anymore. He’s looking at his future through a wide lens, figuring out what’s the best way to reach his ultimate dream and play in the NFL. Denman feels the best, most fortuitous route is going to Wisconsin, and decommiting from his oral commitment this summer to play for Penn State next season.

“I was excited about Penn State, but I thought about looking around again in about mid-September,” Denman said. “I was still being recruited, schools were still calling even though I gave a verbal commitment to Penn State. Coaches would call and they would congratulate me on my decision and if anything would come up, they still asked if I wanted to visit their schools, and Wisconsin was one of them. I decided to go and see what Wisconsin was about.”

Denman spent the October 14 weekend at Wisconsin, watching the Badgers’ 59-7 victory over Indiana on Saturday, October 15. Someone recognized Denman and wrote a blog on the internet. It didn’t take too long before Penn State’s coaching staff found out about it.

The next morning, Sunday, October 16, Denman received a call from Penn State assistant coach and recruiting coordinator Mike McQueary, who didn’t like what he saw on the internet.

“No, it wasn’t that good,” Denman said about the conversation between him and McQueary. “Penn State found out that I was at the Wisconsin-Indiana game and I didn’t know I was going to change my mind at that time. But I thought Wisconsin was a better social and athletic fit for me. I feel bad about the Penn State thing. I had to do what I had to do, and I have to do what’s best for me. I want to play in the NFL and that’s my goal and my dream. The best way to get there, in my opinion, is to go to Wisconsin. I just told Coach McQueary I think Wisconsin is a better fit.

“I liked being around the people and the coaches and other players, that’s what did it for me. I went to Wisconsin’s spring game and I saw how they played, and against Indiana, and I saw how much they improved since that spring game. I want to go to a school that’s going to help me get better. I thought going to Wisconsin I can improve faster than if I went to another school. I like the fact that they’ll let me play guard at Wisconsin, which I really liked. At first, I wanted to play tackle, and that’s what Penn State wanted. That was a big point in me changing my mind. I feel like a great weight has been lifted off my shoulders.”

Game of the Week:

Saint Joseph’s Prep (6-2) at LaSalle (7-1), at Springfield (Montco) Friday 7 p.m.
This is a game that carries a lot of tradition between these two archrivals. The Hawks are on a three-game winning streak and led by one of the best quarterbacks in the country, Penn State-bound Skyler Mornhinweg, while LaSalle carries a six-game winning streak and is playing sound on both sides of the ball. The Explorers are averaging 37.6 points a game over their last three victories.

Reported by: Joseph Santoliquito

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