For the past week, Loganville (Ga.) Grayson cornerback Kasey Gaines and Penn State defensive coordinator Ted Roof having been playing phone tag. On Sunday, Roof and Gaines finally connected, and the Nittany Lions' coach delivered Gaines some good news.
"I got a hold of him today and we recapping my camp experience from earlier this summer and he told that they were giving me a scholarship offer," Gaines said.
The offer from Penn State is the first BCS offer for Gaines, who plays on the same Grayson defense as the No. 1 players in the Rivals100, Robert Nkemdiche. Gaines, who also has offers from VMI, Harvard, Howard and Presbyterian, said the Nittany Lions immediately jumped to the top of his list.
"Penn State is leading now, they're my first choice," the 5-foot-10, 160-pound Gaines said. "My biggest decision is going to be whether I want to go to Harvard and get that degree, or play big time Division I football. I just have to sit down and discuss it with my family and see."
Gaines originally caught Roof's eye back in the spring, when Roof came by to check in on Nkemdiche. After that, he earned an invite to Penn State's camp in the summer, where he was one of the top performers.
"Coach Roof came to our school watched my film and talked to me and asked me to come to camp," Gaines said. "I did really well up there and talked to the coaches an I knew they were interested."
He said he knows having a teammate like Nkemdiche may have opened the door for him, but the offer is definitely one he earned himself.
"I'm not denying it, that did help," Gaines said. "There were a lot of coaches at our practices and that gave me recognition, but it feels good to get this offer and I felt like I earned it with the way I played on film and the way I performed at their camp."
During his junior season, Gaines had 93 total tackles (nine for loss), along with five interceptions and 13 pass breakups.
As far as the NCAA sanctions facing the Penn State program, Gaines said it will not have an impact on his decision.
"It's devastating what happened," Gaines. "But people are saying it's a rebuilding process and I feel honored that they want me to be a part of it and that they'd chose me."
Gaines said he's not sure when he'll make a decision, and that his primary focus is on his senior high school season.
"Starting tomorrow I'll be focusing on our upcoming game," Gaines said. "That's going to be our main focus, after that, then we'll see what we're going to do."