Malverne's senior wide receiver Josiah Brown signed his national letter of intent to play at Penn State. Credit: Newsday/Thomas A. Ferrara

Malverne’s Josiah Brown envisioned the moment for nearly six months. But the pen hitting the paper still felt surreal.

Surrounded by dozens of friends, family, teammates and coaches in Malverne’s gymnasium Wednesday evening, the senior wide receiver signed his national letter of intent to play at Penn State on the first day of college football’s early national signing period.

“It was a feeling that you can’t really describe. It was kind of like a stress relief,” Brown said. “Everybody was looking up to this moment and I even had nerves walking in and seeing everybody in the stands. I felt the genuine love, so it was a great experience.”

“A high school athlete receiving a full scholarship to play a college sport is what we all dreamed of as kids. It’s a beautiful thing,” Malverne coach Kito Lockwood added. “We always preach family, school and then sports. You could feel the family vibe and the community vibe in the room.”

Following a lengthy recruiting process, the 6-foot, 170-pound speedster announced his commitment to the Nittany Lions on June 23. Less than a month later, Brown announced his decision to leave Holy Trinity, where he starred for three years and helped the Titans win two straight CHSFL titles, and return home to Malverne. Brown also ran track at Holy Trinity and won CHSAA titles in the 100 and 200 meters in the spring.

Currently the No. 2 high school player in the state according to 247 Sports Composite Rankings, the four-star athlete received more than 20 FBS Division I scholarship offers from schools like Alabama, Florida, Oklahoma, Michigan and Notre Dame. Georgia coach Kirby Smart landed at Holy Trinity in a helicopter to recruit Brown less than a month after the Bulldogs won their second consecutive national championship.

“There were a lot of schools that offered me to play for them, but Penn State always stood out,” Brown said. “I’m excited to just be in that atmosphere and experience the college life. I’ll be practicing and doing what I love every day, so I’m ready for it.”

Brown totaled eight touchdowns and 529 all-purpose yards in six games before his senior season was cut short when he suffered a season-ending knee injury during Malverne's homecoming game against Cold Spring Harbor on Oct. 13, with Penn State coach James Franklin in attendance. He had reconstructive surgery repairing his right ACL, MCL and meniscus in late October and expects to make a full recovery as he prepares for his collegiate debut in the fall.

“I’m going to stay quiet on that, but just know that this comeback is going to be legendary,” Brown said.

Brown will graduate from Malverne with a 3.5 GPA in January and head to Penn State for the spring semester. He plans to major in Business.

“Penn State is getting a humble young man that is coachable, respectful and responsible,” said Brown’s mother, Denise. “He’s very smart and an adept leader. It’s a great match for him and I think he will jell there very well.”

The 12 players who signed with FBS (Football Bowl Subdivision) or FCS (Football Championship Subdivision) programs on Wednesday:

Josiah Brown, WR, Malverne: Penn State (FBS)

Korey Duff, Jr., WR, St. Anthony’s: Rutgers (FBS)

Alex Menghi, TE, St. Anthony’s: Stony Brook (FCS)

TJ Bacon, WR, Long Island Lutheran: Yale (FCS)

Rodney Mills, DE, Long Island Lutheran: LIU (FCS)

Ethan Appolon, DE, Harborfields: Wagner (FCS)

Anthony DiMenna, OL, Sachem North: New Hampshire (FCS)

Bobby Galindo, OL, South Side: Colgate (FCS)

Caden Lesiewicz, K/P, Floyd: Cornell (FCS)

Lance Maiberg, K/P, St. John the Baptist: LIU (FCS)

Nick Rinaldi, OL, Chaminade: Davidson (FCS)

Michael Seeger, OL/DL, Lindenhurst: Wagner (FCS)

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