Alex Vega has three of his former players at Penn State. And every time the John F. Kennedy football coach goes to see Stephfon Green, Nerraw McCormack and Shaine Thompson play in State College, Pa., the same feeling washes over him.
“It’s almost surreal,” Vega said of visiting the tradition-rich football school. “I get goose bumps.”
Those figure to continue for the coach. Continuing something of a Knights tradition, Stephen Obeng Agyapong signed a National Letter of Intent with Penn State on Wednesday morning at the Bronx school.
Although he’s put on his pads for the last time at Kennedy and played his last high-school football down, the 6-foot, 185-pound safety/running back still felt butterflies creep into his stomach before he put pen to paper.
It did, from the signature, to the faxed LOI. The only thing left to do now is pull on that vintage blue uniform (sans name on the back), strap on that white helmet and take the field at cavernous, 107,282-seat Beaver Stadium. All of that with Hall of Famer Joe Paterno, a veteran of 43 seasons in State College, coaching him on the sidelines.
“Coach Paterno – what more can you say? The man is a legend,” Vega said. Vega sees Obeng as not only an impact player right away, most likely at safety, but the kind of character kid that could be the face of the program for a long time. Obeng, a FiveBoroSports.com All-City first team selection, holds a 90 average and says he wants to major in engineering.
The fact that Penn State is a fine academic institution certainly played into his decision. He chose the Nittany Lions over Iowa, Buffalo, Connecticut and Maryland. Having three former Kennedy Knights already on the team didn’t hurt, either.