As Ben discussed earlier at StateCollege.com, the recruiting calendar for the Class of 2012 is getting pretty tight, and the window for continued contact is even tighter. A recruiting "dead period" is set to begin on Monday, December 19, which will last through the new year. During this period, staff members may only have contact with early enrollees who have signed Letters of Intent. Once the dead period breaks on January 4, there are only four weeks left until National Letter of Intent Day. The time to move is now on the remaining 6-9 spots left in this class for Penn State.
Unfortunately, the class is going backwards. Joey O'Connor was the first former-commit to decommit following the Sandusky Scandal. Now, JP Holtz has made it official, and other commits are wavering. While he appears to remain solid to Penn State ($), other sources tell Black Shoe Diaries that PA LB Nyeem Wartman visited with other schools this past week, including a certain in-state rival. There have been similar rumors and reports of other visits, not to mention the ever-present "I'm still weighing my options" line from many commits.
To be honest, I don't blame them for looking around. They want to make sure they make the best choice for their future, and with uncertainty swirling and only seven weeks or so until NLOI Day, the recruits want to have options.
However, and like Ben mentioned, there is precious little time left before that day, so the longer the delay in hiring a new coach, the higher the chance that the Decommitment Train doesn't stop with JP Holtz.
It should be noted, and this isn't necessarily my endorsement, but many of the recruits that have been contacted by Tom Bradley these past couple of weeks have spoken extremely high of the interim head coach. It would appear that the best man to save this current slate of recruits is Tom Bradley, but then again we don't really know what anyone else might be able to do in a few weeks time.
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: It isn't looking good for Fuller, and Mornhinweg is maintaining his silence. There are no other uncommitted three-star or higher QBs listed on either Lions247 or Fight on State, and I haven't heard of any other potential targets at the position. As long as Mornhinweg sticks to his commitment, we'll still be OK here.
Running Back (2012 Quota: 1-2)
1. Wes Brown (MD)
2. Akeel Lynch (NY)
Analysis: This is one position where I have absolutely no idea what is going on. Before the scandal, I would have put our chances with Lynch at about 90%. Brown was up there, too. But now, Brown is essentially gone and Lynch is probably rethinking his commitment to Boston College. With Green and Suhey gone, and Beachum's future questionable, we NEED to take at least one back in this class.
Wide Receiver (2012 Quota: 2-3)
Eugene Lewis (PA, 8/10/2011)
1. Joel Caleb (VA)
Analysis: Like the quarterback spot, this position is one of intrigue. Lewis, like Cam Williams and others, has been one of the stronger commitments in this class, trying his hardest to keep others committed. If he's the only one in this position to sign on February 1, again we'll be OK.
Tight End (2012 Quota: 2-3)
Brent Wilkerson (MD, 3/26/2011)
Jesse James (PA, 3/28,2011)
Analysis: As expected, JP Holtz made it official and opened up his recruitment. Like QB, I haven't heard of any other names the staff will be pursing in this class. However, I have heard that Class of '13 TE Adam Breneman has been taking some other visits and talking up some other schools, so that is a potential point of concern. I still think PSU leads there, though.
Offensive Line (2012 Quota: 4-5)
Anthony Stanko (OH, 3/19/2011)
Analysis: In what has now become a common theme, I have no idea who is on the list here. Getting at least one more here is going to be a priority, but as we've debated in the past, linemen recruits are the hardest to recruit, so there are more options here; I just don't know who they are as of yet.
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: Pollard finally received his offer again, but we'll see if he jumps back on board. He will get a visit from Bradley and Ron Vanderlinden this week. The only commit here I could see dropping Penn State would be Tommy Schutt. The previous sentence used to end with the caveat "but that's pure speculation" and this week it doesn't. Take that for what it's worth.
Defensive End (2012 Quota: 0-1)
1. Noah Spence (PA)
2. Noah Spence (PA)
3. Noah Spence (PA)
Analysis: Noah Spence-or-bust. You know the drill here by now.
Linebacker (2012 Quota: 2-3)
Cam Williams (MA, 3/25/2011)
Nyeem Wartman (PA, 7/9/2011)
Analysis: Williams received a visitfrom a couple coaches last week, and seems to be as committed as before. Preferred walk-on Bryton Barr officially decommitted.
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)
Analysis: Kiley will be getting a visit this week, while Golden will be hearing from Kermit Buggs. Buggs will also accompany Tom Bradley on a trip to Jeannette to see Cox. Demetrious recently trimmed his list to eight - as expected, Penn State made the cut.
Commits to Date: 15
Estimated Class Size: 21-25
Projected Positions Left (in no particular order): OL (2), RB, WR, DB (1-2), DT, DE