You can't say Pennsbury's J.J. Denman made a snap decision.

Before committing to Penn State for football, the offensive tackle visited seven other Division I schools, including Notre Dame, Michigan, and Wisconsin.

"I did my homework," the 6-foot-6, 305-pound junior said Thursday. "No school wanted me more than Penn State did."

Denman committed to the Nittany Lions after a trip to State College last weekend. Near the end of his stay, the 17-year-old and his father, John, chatted with coach Joe Paterno and recruiting coordinator Mike McQueary for about 30 minutes.

"Coach Paterno is 84 years old, but he came off like he was a young guy," J.J. Denman said. "Meeting him was an honor, but I did not need to meet him to decide on Penn State. I looked at the big picture."

An Inquirer first-team all-Southeastern Pennsylvania pick, Denman said he had scholarship offers from 30 Division I schools.

Contact staff writer Rick O'Brien at 610-313-8019

or robrien@phillynews.com.