State College coach Matt Lintal can still remember when dual-threat quarterback Jaden Seider arrived earlier this year. “What do you want for this year?” Lintal asked him.
Seider gave the perfect answer — one Lintal still remembers all these months later.
“He looked at me square in the eyes and said, ‘I just want to win, Coach,’” Lintal recalled. “He was team-oriented from the day he walked in to State College.”
Seider, the son of Penn State assistant coach JaJuan Seider, announced on Twitter late Tuesday night that he committed to the Nittany Lions as a walk-on. Although the senior didn’t have any scholarship offers, according to 247 Sports, he still earned interest from the likes of Florida Atlantic, Marshall and Miami (Fla.) — and his State College team finished 12-2.
Premium content for only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
He didn’t see a lot of time on the field this season, especially with record-breaking two-year starter Tommy Friberg under center. (Friberg accounted for 4,000-plus yards and 50-plus TDs over his career.) But he was an athlete who wore many hats, finishing his third high school season on his third high school team with 94 passing yards, 22 rushing yards and 40 receiving yards in six games.
Thinking those numbers are simply a reflection of Seider’s talent is a mistake, Lintal said.
“He makes every team better,” the Little Lions coach said. “He was one of our more versatile kids, providing depth and reassurance through the year. … Jaden is one of the smartest football players I’ve ever been around. He understands the game.”
The 5-foot-10, 175-pound prospect will likely be a scout-team dual-threat quarterback at Penn State, although Lintal said he would move wherever the Nittany Lions wanted. At State College, he even started one game at receiver.
Seider’s father, JaJuan, joined the Penn State coaching staff in January as the running backs coach. He oversaw Florida’s running backs the season before and, from 2013-2016, coached the same position group at his alma mater, West Virginia.
Obviously, that meant a lot of moving around for Jaden — and some high praise from Lintal.
“I wish we had more time with him, I really do,” Lintal added. “He was a kid that I think his best football is in front of him. He’s been to three high schools in three seasons and been a contributor in all three. I think once he settles down into a system and can learn it and thrive, he’s going to excel.”
Jaden Seider is the second Little Lion to pledge to the blue-and-white in the upcoming recruiting class. DB Keaton Ellis earned a scholarship offer and plans to enroll early, and WR Cohen Russell has a Penn State walk-on offer that he’s currently mulling over.