The news Isheem Young announced Tuesday, he knew on April 12. That day, he silently committed to play football at Penn State. Tuesday, he broke the silence.
Young, a rising senior safety at Imhotep Charter, made his commitment to the Nittany Lions public with a video of a pool party filmed by Bleacher Report. When Young dived into the pool, it lit up with the Penn State logo, and Young said, "We Are … Penn State."
Bleacher Report approached Young about doing the video and told him to think of an idea. His first thought was a paintball fight, but then he saw that someone else had done that. He settled on the pool party.
Young sat Tuesday at a table in Imhotep's cafeteria in front of about 50 teammates, friends, and family. He unveiled a Penn State hat, showing support for a school that most experts predicted he would choose.
"When I take a visit, I feel like I'm already on the team," Young said. "I love that."
The Nittany Lions now have 20 recruits in their 2018 class, tying Louisiana State and Houston for most in the country. They picked up five, from five states, this past weekend alone. Their class is ranked third in the country by 247sports.com.
Young, listed at 5-foot-10 and 200 pounds, is the No. 5 recruit in the state, No. 116 in the country, and the 12th-best safety, according to 247sports.com. He had offers from numerous top-tier schools but whittled them to Penn State, Clemson, Alabama, West Virginia, Maryland, and Ohio State. At one of the state's top programs, he has long been one of the most highly touted players in the area.
"I knew he was going to get here," said his mother, Nicole Hawkins. "It just took time."
Young said he hopes to start as a freshman at Penn State, although for the short-term, he can focus on his senior season at Imhotep. The Panthers rolled through the season undefeated last fall before losing in the PIAA Class 4A state final against Erie Cathedral Prep. A few months later, head coach Mark Schmidt stepped down, and Imhotep replaced him with Nick Lincoln.
Lincoln, too, said he saw this future for Young. He was not at Imhotep when the Panthers won the state championship in 2015, but he saw the game and watched Young crush an opposing player on an onside kick.