Who wants to have some fun? We'll get to the week that was in a moment, but the most important message comes first. At 10a eastern time this morning, Massachusetts cornerback Armani Reeves will be announcing his college decision. Consider the following: Reeves was on campus five days ago, with his mother and current commit and recruiter extraordinaire Cam Williams. He has had Penn State in his Top Two for quite some time, with Michigan and Notre Dame taking the strongest runs at him. If he's not a Nittany Lion by 11a, I will be shocked.
More, including the updated (which will need to be updated again in a few hours) Big Board after the jump...
Now, what the hell just happened in Happy Valley? On Monday, we had 13 commits and were sitting on a pretty good class. It wasn't stellar, but it certainly wasn't bad. Then, within a three hour stretch on Wednesday evening, Penn State gained commitments from four-star WR Eugene Lewis and five-star DT Tommy Schutt, and the class went from pretty good to borderline Top Ten in the country. With Reeves' looming commitment, the Nittany Lions Class of 2012 is definitely one of the best...so far.
Which brings us to the nearly impossible question: how many spots are left? First, by my count, there are 84 players on scholarship for the upcoming season. Adding Paul Jones (who will hopefully have his academic house in order by next August) and removing the graduating seniors and rumored one-year scholarships gives us 67 scholarship players at the end of this year. The impossible part of the question is factoring in how much additional attrition will occur between now and February 1, 2012 when the current recruiting class will sign their letters of intent. I've guessed 22-23 in the past, and I'm going to stick with those numbers. So as of now, there appear to be 7-8 spots remaining, with Reeves a likely occupant of one of those spots.
Who will get the remaining spots? Penn State is heavily recruiting the following players, each of whom are top targets in their respected positions: PA DE Noah Spence, PA DB Demetrious Cox, OH RB Will Mahone, and NY DT Jarron Jones. A spot will be held open for every one of these players. The remaining spots are now essentially up for grabs. As you'll see below, we need to fill some more holes, but it's very difficult to project which positions will fill the remaining spots.
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: Devin Fuller will be the only quarterback left in this class. If he chooses Penn State, he's been promised a shot at QB, but his future on the field is likely at another position. I noted in the comments elsewhere that he could be a great addition to what will be a depleted secondary in 2012.
Running Back (2012 Quota: 1-2)
1. Will Mahone (OH)
2. Akeel Lynch (NY)
3. Brionte Dunn (OH)
Analysis: Akeel Lynch is currently committed to Boston College, but has said he will likely visit Penn State in the near future. Will Mahone, among many other top prospects, has said he will be visiting for the Alabama game, which is becoming one hell of a game, both on the field and off.
Wide Receiver (2012 Quota: 2-3)
Eugene Lewis (PA, 8/10/2011)
1. Canaan Severin (MA)
2. Jordan Payton (CA)
Analysis: Last week we added Leonte Jarroo's name to the mix, and he promptly committed to Rutgers. Severin and Payton are still there, but figuring out who, if either, will take the last WR spot is difficult. This position could be a casualty of the "no more spots" problem, but I expect one more wideout in this class.
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: Taylor recently announced a Top Four that included PSU and Florida (and Alabama and Georgia), the top two schools vying for the talented recruit.
Offensive Line (2012 Quota: 4-5)
Anthony Stanko (OH, 3/19/2011)
J.J. Denman (PA, 5/18/2011)
Joey O’Conner (CO, 6/28/2011)
1. Adam Bisnowaty (PA)
Analysis: With three linemen (Brian Gaia, listed most places as an OL, was recruited by PSU to play DT) in the bag, the staff could probably fit one more into the Class of 2012, but it will probably end with those committed. Greg Pyke committed to Georgia, so his name has been taken off the board.
Defensive Tackle (2012 Quota: 4-5)
Brian Gaia (MD, 5/9/2011)
Derek Dowrey (VA, 6/25/2011)
Tommy Schutt (IL, 8/10/2011)
1a. Jarron Jones (NY)
1b. Jamil Pollard (NJ)
2. Faith Ekakitie (IL)
Analysis: Schutt's addition moves this position to "almost closed" status. One more is the target here, and a familiar face has set a return visit ($) to campus. Unless Pollard can get his grades up, this is likely down to Jones and Ekakitie.
Defensive End (2012 Quota: 0-1)
1. Noah Spence (PA)
2. Noah Spence (PA)
3. Noah Spence (PA)
Analysis: Noah Spence-or-bust. He's set to decide in January at the Under Armour All-American Game. Though that's not to say if we miss on Spence we won't have a DE in this class; Brent Wilkerson, among others, could end up here. Without divulging too much, I will say that Spence has become a person of interest, a sort of project if you will, for certain other Class of 2012 members.
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. Williams has been pretty active on Twitter recently, getting many PSU fans' hopes up with his promising-yet-cryptic news.
Defensive Back (2012 Quota: 4-6)
Jake Kiley (NH, 7/26/2011)
1. Armani Reeves (MA) (CB)
2. Demetrious Cox (PA) (S)
3. Malik Golden (CT) (CB)
4. (VA) (S)
Analysis:This should be the last Friday Recruitin' where Armani's name isn't in bold. Am I too confident in this pick? Cox has recently had good things to say about Michigan State (and some not great things to say about Notre Dame), but he is now the top target in this position group.
Commits to Date: 15
Estimated Class Size: 21-25
Projected Positions Left: RB (2), WR, DB (2-3), OL, DT, DE, TE