It appears as though Ed DeChellis has added another big man to the mix, as Fight On State is reporting that after a visit this weekend, 6-11 Massachusetts center Patrick Ackerman has committed to Penn State.
Scout ranks Ackerman as a two-star prospect, however Rivals doesn't give him any stars, so take that for what it's worth. Scout says Ackerman needs to get bigger, but boasts tools Penn State is missing.
Ackerman is considered a skilled big man who must add a bit of bulk to be able to contend at the major-college level. He is a natural shot-blocker, something the Lions have been sorely missing of late.
The New England Recruiting Report has several interesting tidbits. First from the Gym Rat Challenge in May.
Ackerman does his best work on the defensive end by blocking/altering shots and cleaning the glass, but he has an impressive skill set of his own on the offensive end.
Ackerman did his best to help carry the team. He was active inside, blocking and altering shots, rebounding on both ends, and scoring via his righty jump hook. Though the undermanned Magic struggled overall in a difficult pool that also featured the Franchise All Stars from Texas, Ackerman’s play was certainly a bright spot.
Ackerman's level of play began to rise on Wednesday after struggling to find his groove over the first two days of camp. He played very hard and showed off a nice, soft touch in a one on one battle with Imoh Silas.
By all accounts, it appears Penn State is getting a center with plenty of potential to become a solid option for the Nittany Lions in the frontcourt. To do that, though, DeChellis will need to prove he can develop a big man, something he's had trouble doing beyond Jamelle Cornley.
Ackerman will join fellow center Peter Alexis and guard Trey Lewis as the Lions' third recruit for the Class of 2011, a class shaping up well with Penn State's needs upon the graduation of forwards like Jeff Brooks and Andrew Jones after this season. There's still work to be done in this class, especially at the SF/3 spot, where Penn State is really, really thin after David Jackson leaves, but DeChellis is off to a good start.