Saimire Locks was in history class when he learned that Penn State had offered him.
His head coach at Philadelphia’s Simon Gratz High School, Erik Zipay, pulled him out of class briefly so Locks could take a phone call.
On the other end was Assistant Recruiting Coordinator for Personnel Rashad Elby. Elby offered Locks, and Penn State joined fellow PA schools Temple and Delaware on his offer list.
The coach that offered Locks at Temple in October 2021, Gabe Infante, is now a defensive analyst at Penn State.
Nittany Sports Now spoke with Locks, a 25 DB, about the offer, his experience with Penn State and more in this Nittany Sports Now Q&A.
Nittany Sports Now: What was your experience like getting offered by Penn State? Where were you, how did you find out about it and what was your reaction when you got the offer?
Saimire Locks: It was early in the morning. I was in history class when I got a text from my coach asking me what room I’m in. He came and got me, told me I’d be back in two minutes. He called the Penn State coach, and (Elby) let me know everything.
NSN: How’d you feel when you found that out?
SL: I felt blessed. Because most people in my school don’t have offers. For me to have one from Penn State is a blessing.
NSN: What has your experience been with Penn State’s coaching staff thus far?
SL: It’s been good. There’s a coach from Temple who recently went to Penn State (Infante) so I have a good contact. I went to Penn State for a visit. It went well. I’ve been talking to coaches.
NSN: What coaches from Penn State have you communicated with thus far?
SL: I talked to (cornerbacks coach) Terry Smith, (defensive analyst) coach Infante and coach Elby.
NSN: As a guy that’s from PA, what has your experience been with Penn State football growing up?
SL: It’s been good. I was watching Saquon Barkley when he was there.
NSN: Are there any DBs, either in college or the NFL, that you pattern yourself after?
SL: Jalen Ramsey. Sauce Gardner. Those two are the most I look at.
NSN: How would you describe yourself as a defensive back? What do you do well?
SL: I’m really physical. I’m very talented at watching the quarterback, knowing his reads, where he’s going to throw it to, where he’s going to put it at and knowing the wide receiver’s next moves.”
NSN: Is it frustrating for you that the offers haven’t been piling up? Is that something you think about a lot?
SL: No. I just take it slow because I know it’s going to come eventually. If I keep doing what I’m doing, playing good, it’s going to eventually come.
NSN: Temple and Delaware, they’re not in the Power Five, and Penn State’s obviously in the Big Ten. So did it surprise you at all when you got that offer, being that it’s a bigger school than the other two schools are?
SL: Yes. It’s surprising. I go to Simon Grats, and a lot of people haven’t gotten big offers like that. For me to be one of them is a blessing.
NSN: What other colleges have you drawn interest from?
SL: Syracuse University, Rutgers University, Northwestern University, West Virginia University, Nebraska University.
NSN: Obviously, you have a lot of time, but where would you say Penn State stands among the schools that have offered or have expressed interest in you?
SL: Going to Penn State, I’ve learned things, and it’s a bunch of competition. So, it’d be good for me—the skills I have and the talent I bring— it’d be a good environment.