Welcome, friends, to the new Tuesday Recruitin'. With the 2011 season finally upon us, the commentary here on TR will markedly decrease, or the amount of content out there to discuss will decrease, as I'm sure we'll still find something to talk about. The recruits are back in their own camps and seasons, and the news coming out of Penn State surrounds actual game notes. Thus, and as expected, recruiting takes a backseat. Our next siren isn't likely to ring for a little bit, so unless something big happens, this will be a weekly spot for talking about who's next and who's left.
A fluid story that continues to grow is the increasing Visitors List for the Alabama game. While some of these kids (and not just Penn State targets, but recruits at major games everywhere) are simply there to watch an awesome football game live on Penn State's dime, it is still a very big game, both on the field and for recruiting purposes. I'm going to try and get a list out listing the visitors, but suffice it to say that there will be some very big names in attendance, both for the Class of '12 and beyond.
So let me ask you this. Let's pretend for a moment that you are Noah Spence, and that you are visiting Penn State for the Alabama game. Does it make a difference to you what happens on the field? One school of thought says that a terrible showing on the field by the hosting school would actually harm the chances of that school. The other school, and the one that I tend to side with, is that, while on-field success is important, the atmosphere overall is the more important factor. If Penn State blows out Alabama but the stands are empty and the players and coaches are standoff-ish, that does more to harm the school's chances than does an Alabama huge victory. Discuss.
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. Rutgers is the team to beat here; I wish I knew what Greg Schiano and Jeff Hafley (former Pitt recruiter extraordinaire) were telling kids.
Running Back (2012 Quota: 1-2)
1. Will Mahone (OH)
2. Akeel Lynch (NY)
3. Kenno Loyal (GA)
Analysis: Akeel Lynch is currently committed to Boston College, but has said he will likely visit Penn State in the near future. Before setting and rescinding his announcement date, Mahone had set a Top Four of PSU, ND, Pitt, and MSU. I don't think that has changed.
Wide Receiver (2012 Quota: 2-3)
Eugene Lewis (PA, 8/10/2011)
1. Canaan Severin (MA)
2. Jordan Payton (CA)
Analysis: 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. Payton recently set up ($) a Penn State visit, though Cal, USC and Michigan are all after the USC-decommit. The battle for Severin should be against Boston College.
Tight End (2012 Quota: 2-3)
Brent Wilkerson (MD, 3/26/2011)
Jesse James (PA, 3/28,2011)
J.P. Holtz (PA, 7/22/2011)
1. Kent Taylor (FL)
Analysis: Taylor recently announced a Top Four that included PSU and Florida (and Alabama and Georgia), the top two schools vying for the talented recruit. This is a tough recruitment to grasp, as it seems to be very even.
Offensive Line (2012 Quota: 4-5)
Anthony Stanko (OH, 3/19/2011)
J.J. Denman (PA, 5/18/2011)
Joey O’Connor (CO, 6/28/2011)
1. Adam Bisnowaty (PA)
Analysis: With three linemen (Brian Gaia, listed most places as an OL, was recruited by PSU to play DT) in the bag, the staff could probably fit one more into the Class of 2012, but it will probably end with those committed. PSU's line recruitment has never really been position-specific (with obvious exceptions), so don't be surprised to see an OL listed above or DL listed below to end up on the opposite side of the ball.
Defensive Tackle (2012 Quota: 4-5)
Brian Gaia (MD, 5/9/2011)
Derek Dowrey (VA, 6/25/2011)
Tommy Schutt (IL, 8/10/2011)
1. Faith Ekakitie (IL)
2. Jamil Pollard (NJ)
Analysis: Schutt's addition moves this position to "almost closed" status. Jones has committed to Notre Dame (damn, him, damn that man!), so now the staff likely slides Faith Ekakitie into the top spot.
Defensive End (2012 Quota: 0-1)
1. Noah Spence (PA)
2. Noah Spence (PA)
3. Noah Spence (PA)
Analysis: Noah Spence-or-bust. He's set to decide in January at the Under Armour All-American Game. Steve Wiltfong of 247Sports recently penned a phenomenal article ($) about the Spence family. I like where we stand here, but hate to jinx anything (members of Lion247 have taken to calling Spence "Player X" for fear of jinxing his recruitment).
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)
Armani Reeves (MA, 8/12/2011)
Malik Golden (CT, 8/24/2011)
1. Demetrious Cox (PA) (S)
2. (VA) (S)
Analysis: Well, cornerbacks are wrapped up now, thanks to the New England Triumverate. Penn State will now focus its attention on safeties, with Demetrious Cox being the clear leader on the secondary board.
Commits to Date: 17
Estimated Class Size: 21-25
Projected Positions Left (in no particular order): RB (2), WR, DB (1-2), OL, DT, DE, TE
- Late addition to TR, that I didn't catch until perusing 11W this morning. Rivals has mapped the Top 100 high school teams (notice it doesn't say players, so save the stars debate this week). These are Rivals rankings which should be taken with a grain of salt, though as expected the South dominates the rankings, with 39 of the top 100 teams. It is interesting to note, though, that the Lakes and Atlantic East regions have more teams than I would have expected. Four PA teams appear on the list, along with two each from NJ, MD (not DeMatha, surprisingly), and VA and eight from Ohio.
- Second late addition, which apparently broke on Twitter last night and h/t to reader forrestn20 for pointing it out this morning, but yes, Jarron Jones has committed to ND. He had delayed his trip for the Alabama game, and now we know why.