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June 8, 2011The all-time winningest coach in Division I football was back on the computer Wednesday, this time conversing with Plymouth (Pa.) Wyoming Valley West wide receiver Eugene Lewis via the video chat application Skype.
This was the fifth time that Joe Paterno used this pitch, with Lewis being the sixth recruit total since five-star Noah Spence became the first on May 26. So far, it's been a success with the previous prospects, and from the sounds of things, you can make that six for six.
"It was great, it was one of the best phone calls I've ever had with a coach before," said Lewis. "He was very helpful, really energetic and sounded very excited about me. I talked to him, Mike McQueary and Dick Anderson. We talked for about 10 minutes or so, it was was a great conversation.
"Coach Paterno was talking about how they need a guy like me so they won't be going 7-6 and instead, competing for and going to national championships."
Skyping with Paterno is something Lewis says he would definitely do again, but this particular conversation may be hard to beat.
"This was also my first time I really had a conversation with coach Paterno, so that was special, I really enjoyed it. It was a really good experience."
Like many Rivals250 members, Lewis will be taking a few visits this summer before cutting his list. His only scheduled date, so far, is Maryland on June 28, but a trip to Happy Valley appears to be in the works.
"They told me to come up in the summer sometime, just to spend the day with me and do that stuff. So I'll probably have to talk to my father and make a date."
So when might Lewis narrow his list and are any schools standing out?
"I'll probably have my top five after I go on my Maryland trip at the end of the month, so that's what I have planned as far as naming a top five. Penn State and Virginia Tech are the two teams most likely to make my top five."
Lewis' only other trip this summer is to attend "The Opening," a four day combine at the Nike World Headquarters in Beaverton, Ore. The event will feature 150 prospects competing for ultimate honors in a lineman challenge, 7-on-7 tournament and the SPARQ Rating National Championship.
Finally, Penn State defensive coordinator Tom Bradley also approached Jeanette (Pa.) safety Demetrious Cox about speaking with Paterno via Skype. The conversation is yet to be scheduled, but Cox said it was something he would like to do in the future.
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