Minneapolis North senior Davon Townley announced Wednesday that he signed a letter of intent with Penn State to play football.
The 6-6 defensive end, who had 17 Division I offers from Power Five conference schools, selected Penn State over programs such as Nebraska and Washington. Minnesota was among the schools that offered Townley but was not believed to be among the finalists.
Townley, also a highly sought-after basketball player, was expected to sign during the NCAA's early football signing period in December. Instead he waited, giving himself more time to weigh his options. He said then that he had a team in mind, citing his relationship with its coach.
"He showed me something different that no other coach did," Townley said in December.
He seemed to reiterate that point Wednesday when explaining his decision. "Penn State is the right choice because I've built the strongest relationship with these coaches over time," he told national recruiting analyst Allen Trieu of 247Sports.
Townley was primarily a basketball player growing up and didn't play football until his junior year. Owing to his lack of experience, he is considered a raw prospect, but his size, explosiveness off the ball, ability to pursue and willingness to be physical led recruiters to believe he has high-end potential.
"[His] ceiling is that of a Power Five starter and a potential Sunday player," Trieu said in his scouting report.
Townley's path is similar to that of former Minneapolis North star Tyler Johnson, who chose football over basketball after starring in both sports for the Polars. Johnson, a cousin of Townley's, is preparing to play Sunday for Tampa Bay in the Super Bowl.
"There is a ton of talent in Minnesota, especially Minneapolis," Townley told Trieu. "I hope my process is an inspiration for other Minnesota kids.".