Wow. Busy week. Mike will be along later today with your Week In Review, but let me see if I can do a brief recap. We broke the internet arguing over Joe Paterno and the future of the program thanks to a well-written piece by Ben and then took it easy for a couple of days. By Thursday, woaaah nelly did it get serious in here.
Tom Ricketts and Kevin Newsome have left or are in the process of leaving the team. The Big Ten announced the move to a nine-game conference schedule in 2017. And Penn State debuted at No. 25 in the USA Today Preseason Rankings. A pretty hectic week so far, huh?
How about some more? I'm here to NOT predict good news. Because every time I do, my predictions don't come true (maybe I'm too optimistic). So to be clear, and without getting too into anything, I'm NOT predicting that our sirens are warming up thanks to some big named (and just plain big) visitors expected on campus this weekend. NOT predicting that.
Since we've already had a pretty busy week, we'll pass on the normal soapbox feature this week. Instead, we'll cut to the chase. Another feature you saw this week was the first Point/Counterpoint of the new Black Shoe Diaries era. In the past, I have battled Galen over the renewal of the Pitt series when we were still at Linebacker-U.com, but this time around, Adam and I debated who the top target for Penn State should be in the Class of 2012. And now it's time to find out what you think. Vote, and then the Big Board after the jump...
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 Will Mahone set, and then rescinded, an announcement date of August 7. A couple other of our current commits have said they're trying their best game on Mahone, so we'll see where one of Ohio's top backs ends up. Barring the NCAA actually doing something to OSU, Dunn isn't going anywhere.
Wide Receiver (2012 Quota: 2-3)
1. Eugene Lewis (PA)
2. Canaan Severin (MA)
3. Jordan Payton (CA)
Analysis: Lewis is still on top, but a couple of other recruits have popped up on the radar, including New Jersey/Don Bosco Prep's Leonte Carroo and California/Oaks Christian's Jordan Payton. Keep an eye on Payton, a USC decommitment, who claims to be high on a couple of Big Ten schools. Severin's spot at number two, as evidenced by the Carroo and Payton offers, may be tenuous.
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: J.P. Holtz's commitment makes this position's recruitment interesting. There's a decent chance none of these players will stay at tight end (Holtz is most likely to stick), so Penn State is still after Kent Taylor. If Taylor doesn't pick PSU, this position is done.
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)
2. Greg Pyke (MD)
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 these guys. Ricketts' transfer doesn't mean a new OL spot opened up, though it does add one to the projected 2012 overall numbers.
Defensive Tackle (2012 Quota: 4-5)
Brian Gaia (MD, 5/9/2011)
Derek Dowrey (VA, 6/25/2011)
1a. Jarron Jones (NY)
1b. Jamil Pollard (NJ)
2. Tommy Schutt (IL)
3. Ryan Watson (MD)
4. Faith Ekakitie (IL)
Analysis: We're still after Jones and Pollard, grades dependent (for Pollard). Sheldon Day has committed to Notre Dame, but there wasn't much hope for PSU there. Tommy Schutt remains the mystery in this group: one day he seems to be all about PSU, the next it's all about Notre Dame (or some other school).
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.
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: The highest position of need, PSU appears to be on top for Reeves and Cox, though we’ll need more than just those two once the 2011 season is finished. The addition of Kiley is hopefully just the beginning.
Commits to Date: 13
Estimated Class Size: 21-25
Projected Positions Left: RB (2), WR (2), DB (3), OL, DT, DE, TE
- Beth Long tells us that Armani Reeves is visiting this weekend, possibly. He was just in Jamaica with the Williams family, and will be visiting with the Williams family, and Cam Williams is committed to Penn State, and Armani Reeves has said he wants to commit before his senior season and his mother will be with him. That run-on sentence is brought to you by the letter WARMUPTHESIREN (there goes that checked optimism). Michigan has recently re-entered the picture, entering the Top Three, but I'm still hopeful here.
- Beth also shares that Eugene Lewis will be visiting next weekend. Another top prospect is scheduled to be in town next weekend, so there could be some big news out of Happy Valley over the next couple of weeks, in addition to whatever news training camp brings us.
- Steve Wiltfong is reporting that Tommy Schutt has been asked by the Michigan staff not to visit. With Sheldon Day committing to Notre Dame, the Penn State door appears to have opened up a bit wider for Schutt. The same could be said for Jarron Jones, but the five-star defensive tackle will likely have a spot held open by the Irish. Don't be surprised if the one of Schutt or Jones to NOT end up at Notre Dame ends up at Penn State.
- Now that we're in August, written offers are heading out. Still no surprises out of PSU's camp (other than Noah Spence not receiving his on August 1), and none are expected. Sean Fitz has a running list ($) of the commits and recruits that have received their offers.
- Finally, in more visitors (!) news, Class of '13 PA TE Adam Breneman will be on campus next weekend per Bob L. I'm not sure if "next weekend" means tomorrow, or eight days from now, but any time a recruit can actually visit, our chances increase. Breneman will be a top prospect in PA for the Class of 2013.