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Penn State Football: Sickels Excited To Join Nittany Lions in 2013

by on March 16, 2012 6:00 AM

Garrett Sickels seems like the typical Penn State football player.

The captain of his team at Redbank Regional High School in Little Silver, N.J., Sickels carries a 3.5 grade-point average while being an active member of the Heroes & Cool Kids mentoring group, Student to Student Peer Mentoring and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

So, Jerry Sandusky scandal aside, Sickels, a 6-foot-4, 225-pound defensive end who verbally committed to Penn State's Class of 2013 earlier this month, looked beyond the headlines and focused on what Penn State has to offer him. 

“[The scandal] didn’t change my mind on anything,” said Sickels, also a defenseman on his high school lacrosse team the past three seasons. “I knew that wasn’t truly what Penn State was.” 

Redbank coach Nick Giglio, who helped Sickels with the recruiting process, believes that what once made Penn State so great can still be found within its football program and not just with first-year Penn State coach Bill O’Brien. 

“I know Frank Edgerly who works with the Patriots in scouting, and I called him in reference to Coach O'Brien,” Giglio said. “Frank said that he was a tremendous man and he would have his own kids play for Coach O'Brien any day.”

Giglio said Sickels, who is rated a four-star recruit by after registering 76 tackles and 10 sacks last year as a junior, also is looking forward to playing for Penn State defensive line coach Larry Johnson and defensive coordinator Ted Roof.

“Coach Johnson has been someone who has been one of the most respected defensive line coaches in the country, as well as a great, sincere person among coaches and players,” Giglio said.

“He is a tremendous teacher/role model for young players. Coach Roof, Coach O’Brien and Coach Johnson will get the best out of Garrett and make him reach his full potential as he develops into a young, mature adult.”

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Ben Jones covers Penn State football and basketball for He's on Twitter as @Ben_Jones88.
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