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James Franklin had a great weekend recruiting for Penn State. The Nittany Lions pulled in three commitments, one them being Warminster (Pa.) Archbishop Wood Catholic star offensive lineman Ryan Bates.
"I just wanted to meet the coaching staff in person," the 6-foot-5, 285-pound Bates said. "I knew they were a great coaching staff before I met them and now I think they're an even better one.
"On the ride there I didn't think I'd be committing that day. After I saw everything and met all the new coaches halfway through the visit, I knew I would be committing. My family loves Penn State, especially my mom because it's close to home. They're all supporting me 100 percent and are loving my decision."
Bates had been rumored to be a Penn State lean for a long time and made his commitment official on Saturday.
"The first thing that comes to mind when I think about Penn State is family," he said. "Everyone is so nice and they treat you like family. The facilities are some of the best in the country. I don't really know what else to say about it. I love it up there and that's where I want to play my college football."
Bates wanted to make sure that he was comfortable with Penn State's new coaching staff and cleared that up on Saturday's visit.
"Coach (Herb) Hand is phenomenal," said Bates. "He is a great, down to earth people person. If I even have a problem I feel like I can go to him and he'll help me with it. Coach Franklin is the same way. They're really family oriented."
Now that Bates is firmly committed to Penn State and not taking any more visits, he will be focusing his energy on recruiting other big time prospects to Happy Valley.
"There are two people that come to mind, Sterling Jenkins from Pittsburgh and Andre Robinson from Bishop McDevitt," he said. "I've been texting them already. I was talking with Sterling a lot this weekend. I can't speak for him, but I know he likes Penn State a lot."
Bates had offers from a number of other big-time programs, including Auburn, Ohio State, South Carolina and others.
Adam Friedman is the Mid-Atlantic Region football recruiting analyst for Rivals.com. You can click here to follow him on Twitter.
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