For weeks, Philadelphia (Pa.) Northeast defensive end Deion Barnes has been building suspense around his college decision.
Barnes announced his commitment to Penn State on Thursday.
Coaching changes at Michigan and Pittsburgh whittled his choices down to Penn State, whom most considered his longtime leader, and Georgia, who made a late push down the stretch and got an official visit from Barnes this past weekend.
On Thursday morning, also Barnes' 18th birthday, he took to the podium in the auditorium in Northeast High School with friends, family and media watching.
Barnes then became the 15th member of the Nittany Lions' Class of 2011.
"I am making this decision because of academics and the comfort level," he told 247Sports.com. "I am not going to be one of those guys that just stays three years, I want to be there for four. For those reasons, I am going to Penn State."
The 6-foot-5, 230-pound senior was the Philadelphia Public League Player of the Year as a senior, recording 85 tackles, 38 tackles for loss and 13 sacks. He led Northeast to its first city title since 1983, blocking a punt that set up a touchdown and catching the eventual game-winner off of a fake field goal.
In addition, Barnes was named second team Class AAAA all-state, as well as garnering all-city and all-league honors.
Barnes adds to a class that already features two defensive ends in the form of fellow Philadelphia prospect Shawn Oakman and Fairview athlete Jordan Kerner.