Mike Wallace (Photo: BSD/Mike Pettigano)
You seem like a pretty awesome guy. Primary Element is a solid hip hop group; you were an Academic All-Conference honoree last year; hell, even your uncle was a four-year letter winner at Penn State. You are a man's man who enjoys the finer things in life. But I have a favor to ask of you.
Penn State's Class of 2012 is going pretty well, ranked 13th in the country at the moment and looking to grow stronger. But we're at a standstill in the process; Ohio RB Will Mahone picked Notre Dame and Pennsylvania OL JJ Denman dropped his commitment to Penn State and opted for Wisconsin. Each of these recruits represents a position of need, and it just so happens that you share a common thread with two top targets.
Wes Brown (RB) and Ryan Watson (OL) are four-star recruits that we'd really like to see in blue and white. Brown is a top-notch back that could be the man to replace Silas Redd, once he is no longer spinning his way out of tackles for the Nittany Lions. Similarly, Watson is a solid lineman prospect, a position that is important every year. Either or both would be great additions to this class, and would end the stagnant trend we've fallen into recently.
But how do you fit in? In case the names don't ring a bell, let me help you out. All three of you attended (or currently attend) Our Lady Good Counsel in Maryland, recruited by every Penn State fan's favorite man-hug giver, Larry Johnson, Sr. This high school has produced a lot of talent in recent years (Michigan CB Blake Countess, Georgia Tech CB Louis Young, in addition to you and your friend Jelani Jenkins, who picked Florida over Penn State in 2009), and this year is no different.
I know you've got a lot on your plate with school, Primary Element and the team, but if you're not too busy, would you mind putting in a good word for Penn State? These guys need to know how great a school Penn State is and how much rich football history there is in Happy Valley.
Thanks, and good luck with the Fighting Zookers on Saturday. I'll be the one in the stands singing this great song instead of that awful piped in music you guys have to deal with every Saturday at home.
Sincerely, Penn State fans
Penn State Class of 2012 commitments listed above each group in bold with commitment dates
Quarterback (2012 Quota: 1-2)
Skyler Mornhinweg (PA, 7/19/2011)
1. Devin Fuller (NJ)
Analysis: Penn State's quarterback situation heading into 2012 is about as murky as can be, as there is no telling who will be back next year. Mornhinweg provides depth, but taking another QB might becoming more and more of a necessity.
Running Back (2012 Quota: 1-2)
1. Wes Brown (MD)
2. Akeel Lynch (NY)
Analysis: Wes Brown is the "stud running back" that the staff needs to take in this class, and they are trying to make a strong push for the Good Counsel back. Lynch would be a good commitment, should he decommit from BC and pick Penn State, but he doesn't have the stars or offer list of Brown, for what it's worth.
Wide Receiver (2012 Quota: 2-3)
Eugene Lewis (PA, 8/10/2011)
1. Jordan Payton (CA)
2. Joel Caleb (VA)
Analysis: Payton is set to announce today, and expect this to go either Michigan's way or to an in-state school. Landing Caleb would be great, but landing neither won't hurt too much. With only Derek Moye leaving after this season, an even one-for-one replacement is good enough.
Tight End (2012 Quota: 2-3)
Brent Wilkerson (MD, 3/26/2011)
Jesse James (PA, 3/28,2011)
J.P. Holtz (PA, 7/22/2011)
1. Kent Taylor (FL)
Analysis: This one will be over soon, as Taylor has set an announcement date of Thursday, October 27. I expect him to choose in-state Florida, but wouldn't be too surprised if he picked Penn State. Regardless of the decision, tight end recruiting should be done by Thursday.
Offensive Line (2012 Quota: 4-5)
Anthony Stanko (OH, 3/19/2011)
Joey O’Connor (CO, 6/28/2011)
Analysis: Well now, with the Denman decommitment, we're back in the game for some linemen. Unfortunately, given that Penn State felt secure with their haul, talks with others have cooled. We're now looking at one or two more linemen, not necessarily OL. So see below for target list.
Defensive Tackle (2012 Quota: 4-5)
Brian Gaia (MD, 5/9/2011)
Derek Dowrey (VA, 6/25/2011)
Tommy Schutt (IL, 8/10/2011)
1. Ryan Watson (MD)
2. Jamil Pollard (NJ)
3. Faith Ekakitie (IL)
4. Korren Kirven (VA)
Analysis: As noted above, Watson has become a top target. Kirven's name could probably come off this board, as he's a long shot anymore. Pollard, as we've said in the past, is still in the mix, as long as his grades improve.
Defensive End (2012 Quota: 0-1)
1. Noah Spence (PA)
2. Noah Spence (PA)
3. Noah Spence (PA)
Analysis: Noah Spence-or-bust.
Linebacker (2012 Quota: 2-3)
Cam Williams (MA, 3/25/2011)
Nyeem Wartman (PA, 7/9/2011)
Analysis: This position is done for the year. Solid group, but even more special when you consider the fact that Cam Williams has become one of the better recruiters for the staff. As if you needed a reason to like him even more, it appears that Cam has taken on the role of longsnapper for his team, apparently in an effort to get on the field earlier at Penn State. I'm not sure how longsnapping accomplishes that, but more power to him.
Defensive Back (2012 Quota: 4-6)
Jake Kiley (NH, 7/26/2011)
Armani Reeves (MA, 8/12/2011)
Malik Golden (CT, 8/24/2011)
1. Demetrious Cox (PA) (S)
2. (VA) (S)
3. Bam Bradley (OH) (S)
Analysis: The battle for Cox looks to be a Big Ten race, with Penn State, Wisconsin, Michigan State, and Ohio State the leaders. Cox recently gave a shoutout to a person many PSU fans should recognize.
Commits to Date: 16
Estimated Class Size: 21-25
Projected Positions Left (in no particular order): OL, RB, WR, DB (1-2), DT, DE, TE