Nowicki committed to Penn State on Tuesday.
Penn State doesn't usually stray from its typical recruiting grounds, but it went way off the map for its 10th commitment on Wednesday.
"I committed to Penn State yesterday," said Glendale (Az.) Cactus offensive lineman Ryan Nowicki said on Wednesday evening. "Coach Kenney was here, I was talking to him. We brought it up and I told him that I was going to go there to school. I got on the phone with [Joe] Paterno and talked to him and he was excited about it."
The 6-foot-5, 285-pound prospect visited in December and came away with a great feeling about the school. He also had offers from Arizona, Arizona State, Oregon State, USC and Washington, among others.
"When I went there, I just had a really good experience, I had a gut feeling that I was supposed to be there," he said. "I liked everything about it. The players were phenomenal, they were great people, the whole town loves them. They had great players, great tradition. I just don't think you can go wrong with it. I think it's an amazing place."
Nowicki said Paterno was delighted to hear the news.
"We pretty much just talked about how he was excited for me," he said. "He said that he needed 1-2 really impact players, and he said I was one of them. He said that it made his day."