STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- Lamont Wade's mind was made up about his college choice, but like all elite college football prospects there were some questions that were better suited for future teammates than for the coaching staff.
"Miles (Sanders) was actually my host for my official (visit) so for us both being Pittsburgh boys we kind of had that connection," Wade, the former 5-star Clairton cornerback, said. "He said nothing but good things about this place, so I kind of felt the same and felt ready to take that next step."
Following up on promises the coaching staff made to prospects during their recruitment, vows of early playing time and competing for starting spots isn't something to be taken lightly. Penn State promised Sanders that he'd get on the field somehow, someway as a true freshman -- if he was ready. Buried behind Saquon Barkley at the time that meant limited carries for Sanders, but the Lions followed through by getting Sanders on the field as a kick returner during his freshman season.
That move usually has a trickle-down effect as other prospects watch and see how many freshmen play and if maybe they too can see the field early -- especially for the most highly-touted signees.
"That means you can trust what they’re saying," Sanders said. "Some coaches promise that to some players and it never happens. That’s when the player gets to start thinking like, 'Did I make the right choice and everything?' I think that’s very important. It just builds that trust and a good relationship between coaches and players.”