Anzalone again says no to Penn State, chooses Notre Dame

Penn State has struck out for the second time in its efforts to get top linebacking prospect Alex Anzalone of Wyomissing Area (Pa.) High School.

Anzalone announced Sunday night that he has chosen Notre Dame over Penn State and Florida as the college where he will play football beginning in 2013.

The 6-foot-3, 220-pound Anzalone, ranked as a four-star player by all the prominent recruiting web sites, had de-committed from Ohio State in May, two weeks after announcing he would play his college football for the Buckeyes.

Anzalone, whose announcement was carried live by ESPNU, at The Opening, a recruiting camp for the nation’s top high school prospects conducted by Nike in Beaverton, Ore., said he would enroll early at Notre Dame, and that academics tipped the Fighting Irish in his favor.

“I’m really close to the commits there," he said. "They took me in like a family on my last visit and I had a really good time with them. That’s when I knew.”

Anzalone visited Penn State on June 28 and told Mike Farrell, a recruiting coordinator for Rivals, that the trip “went really well.”

While the Nittany Lions already have three linebackers committed for the Class of 2013, they were believed to have really wanted Anzalone.

Anzalone, who played strong safety and running back last season for Wyomissing Area, was ranked in the top four in Pennsylvania by Rivals, Scout and ESPNU, and in the top five prospects nationally among outside linebackers.

Anzalone originally committed to Ohio State on April 21 while on a visit for the Scarlet and Gray spring football game in Columbus but changed his mind on May 4 after learning he had allowed his photograph to be taken after the game with a 31-year-old man who is a registered sex offender in Kentucky.

The man, Charles Eric Waugh, posed for pictures with Anzalone and two other recruits. He then posted the photos on Twitter and sent messages via the same social media to Ohio State players and recruits.

--Joe Juliano