Junior Day, Part One: In The Books. As I'm sure you noticed, we had quite a few updates last week heading into the first Junior Day in the Bill O'Brien era. Late Saturday night, we posted some updates from the day. It's still unclear as to when the next big group of recruits will be on campus, but the staff certainly put this one together in a hurry, which is hopefully a sign of many more. If we don't see another group visit in March, the Spring Game in April should be a big weekend.
BOB's First Commitment. There hasn't been a siren on the front page for 2013 yet, but Coach O'Brien actually got his first new player last week in the form of 6-3, 350 pound lineman Bryan Davie. Hailing from Eleanor Roosevelt HS in Greenbelt, Maryland, home of one Derrick Williams and current defensive back Stephon Morris, Davie impressed O'Brien enough to earn a walk-on spot in 2013.
In Visiting News: Penn State Drop Edition. Up until a couple of days ago, Penn State had expected a pretty large (literally, figuratively) visitor this weekend, but it now appears that Williamstown (NJ) linebacker Buddy Brown will no longer be making the trip. (UPDATE: Thanks to reader PSUinBOSSton, quoting BWI's Ryan Snyder, it appears that Buddy will in fact be making the trip.)
In Visiting News: Resisting the Urbz Edition. Cedar Cliff (PA) TE Adam Breneman will be at Ohio State early next week for a meeting with Urban Meyer and staff. His visit last Friday to Penn State was almost as good as could have been asked for (no commitment), so Meyer has an uphill battle here. But he's still Urban Meyer.
A List On Which You Won't Find Penn State Commitments. In 2008, it was Terrelle Pryor. In 2010, it was Cyrus Kouandjio. Last year, Jadeveon Clowney. Every year, there is one player who decides to drag the recruiting process out well beyond Signing Day. This year, that clown was Davonte Neal. You can read about Neal's drama queen-esque story here, but that got the fellas at the SBN mothership thinking...just what are the Best College Football Recruiting Stories?
No Nike Camp in 2012. University Park played host to one of the regional 2011 Nike football camps, but Nike will not return in 2012. Eleven regional camps will lead up to the main event, once again held on Oregon's campus, a major recruiting event attended by hundreds of the nation's top recruits.
Michigan Goes HAM. Hey, remember when Michigan only had three verbal commitments in the Class of 2013, and not their current 11? Me too, because it was 6 days ago. BSDF (BSD Friend, I just made that a thing) Ace from mGo recaps a crazy weekend that left many Michigan fans smiling. His later update, in Tuesday Recruitin', is here, jam-packed with information, as always. (Programming Note: One of the major duties of our new author Cari is going to be keeping tabs on the rest of the Big Ten. Expect to see this new feature within the next couple of weeks.)
Here's Your Dataset, Anti-Star Folks. Sports Illustrated's Andy Staples has put together the 2012 version of the All Two-Star (And Fewer) team. So when the next recruiting stars debate arises, these are the players you should be citing (see, also, Clark, Daryll; Butler, Deon; Norwood, Jordan)
Some Technical Stuff. For anyone that ever questions how rankings, stars, etc. are assessed and kept up to date, National Recruiting Analyst JC Shurburtt at 247Sports elaborated on their process recently. Sure, these sites are in the business of selling subscriptions, but contrary to what some recruiting conspiracy theorists may tell you, there is actual statistics, evaluation, and value judgment in these systems.
As Always. The Big Board, after the jump. Note we're still in "Random Order" mode for the Big Board. As new offers and visits occur, and as we can get some reactions, we'll begin to put the board in order.
Penn State Recruiting Class of 2013 Big Board
Estimated Class Size: 15-22
(Recruits listed in no particular order...yet)
1. Ryan Burns (Stone Bridge (VA))
2. Christian Hackenberg (Fork Union Military Academy (VA))
3. Kevin Olsen (Wayne Hills (NJ))
4. Caleb Scepaniak (Seton Catholic Central (NY))
5. Damion Terry (Erie Cathedral Prep (PA))
Others: Tyler Cogswell (American Heritage (FL)), John O'Korn (St. Thomas Aquinas (FL)), Boeing Brown (Brookfield (CT))
Notes: We can already see some separation at this position. Staff members have said that Penn State is only looking to take one quarterback this year (which doesn't mean that an "Athlete" who also happens to play quarterback wouldn't be added later). Hackenberg and Burns are at the top of the list, everyone else is posturing for placement should both of them head elsewhere. Hackenberg is visiting Miami and South Carolina in the first half of next month.
Running Backs (1-2)
1. David Williams (West Philadelphia Catholic (PA))
2. Derrick Green (Hermitage (VA))
3. DeVeon Smith (Howland (OH)
4. Ty Isaac (Joliet (IL))
5. Richy Anderson (Johnson (MD))
Others: Austin Brown (FB) (Easton Area (PA)), DeShawn Coleman (Hickory (PA))
Notes: David Williams finally earned his scholarship offer after leaving Junior Day without one. But don't read too much into that - Williams was at Junior Day with people that didn't earn an offer, so the resistance could have been to spare bad feelings. Smith also got his offer, while Anderson did not.
Wide Receiver (1-3)
1. Robert Foster (Central Valley (PA))
2. Ryan Switzer (George Washington (WV))
3. Brian Lemelle (Bishop McDevitt (PA))
4. Kyle LaPorte (Piscataway (NJ))
5. Myles Nash (Timber Creek (NJ))
Others: Shaquille James (West Philadelphia Catholic (PA)), Laquon Treadwell (Crete-monee (IL)), Delando Johnson (Calvert Hall College (MD)), Uriah LeMay (David W. Butler (NC)), Tyler Boyd (Clairton (PA)), William Fuller (Roman Catholic (PA))
Notes: Foster will stay on top of this section of the Board until he commits elsewhere, but that just seems like a forgone conclusion. Never say never, and all that, but signing Foster is a major uphill battle (Alabama and Ohio State are high on Foster's list). Switzer had a great time at the Junior Day, telling me that "there is nowhere I'd rather be." His mother wasn't on the trip, and his mother's opinion of the campus is important to Ryan. The next time Mrs. Switzer is on campus, we'll have an update.
Tight End (0-1)
1. Adam Breneman (Cedar Cliff (PA))
2. Scott Orndoff (Seton La Salle (PA))
Notes: Everyone knows about Breneman. But Penn State (Charles London, specifically) is also taking a look at western PA tight end Scorr Orndoff (no relation to "Mr. Wonderful" Paul Orndorff). Orndoff is currently committed to Wisconsin.
Offensive Line (2-4)
1. Patrick Kugler (North Allegheny (PA))
2. Dorian Johnson (Belle Vernon (PA))
3. Jaryd Jones-Smith (West Philadelphia Catholic (PA))
4. Brendon Mahon (Randolph (NJ))
5. Nick Arcidiacono (Archbishop Wood (PA))
Others: Brad Hanson (Monsignor Donovan (NJ)), Mike McGlinchey (William Penn Charter (PA)), Jordan Page (Pennington (NJ)), Tommy Hopkins (Westlake (NY))
Notes: A couple of these guys are on commit watch, but not much in the way of news. I chatted briefly with McGlinchey this week, and he told me everything was just moving along slowly, which seems to be the case for most recruits not named Robert Foster.
Defensive Tackle (1-2)
1. Justin Moody (George Washington (PA))
2. Greg Webb (Timber Creek (NJ))
3. Donovan Munger (Shaker Heights (OH))
4. Henry Poggi (Gilman (MD))
5. Poet Thomas (Detroit Country Day (MI))
Others: Rod Crayton (Dadeville (AL)), Eddie Vanderdoes (Placer (CA))
Notes: Moody did not leave Penn State last weekend with an offer (yet), but he did speak very highly ($) of Larry Johnson and Johnson's past success with the defensive linemen he has coached. Vanderdoes is the latest to earn an offer, though taking him out of
the Sunshine State whatever California's state motto is (or at least the West Coast) may be a tall order. Hey, at least the staff is recruiting California. #MoarPleez
Defensive End (2-4)
1. Dajaun Drennon (Timber Creek (NJ))
2. Jonathan Allen (Stone Bridge (VA))
3. TaShawn Bower (Immaculata (NJ))
4. Garrett Sickles (Red Bank Regional (NJ))
5. Wyatt Teller (Liberty (VA))
Others: Curtis Cothran (Council Rock North (PA)), De'Asian Richardson (Orange Park (FL)), Alquadin Muhammed (Don Bosco Prep (NJ))
Notes: Allen was the surprise visitor on campus last weekend, and came away impressed. He recently named an early favorite list ($) (Obvious Disclaimer: This will change), which includes a familiar name at the top, and Penn State close behind. Bower just recently picked up a PSU offer.
1. Buddy Brown (Williamstown (NJ))
2. Alex Anzalone (Wyomissing (PA))
3. Zayd Issah (Central Dauphin (PA))
4. Tim Kimbrough (Warren Central (IN))
5. Mike McCray (Trotwood-Madison (OH))
Others: Ben Gedeon (Hudson (OH)), Michael Deeb (American Heritage (FL)), Jake Plonski (Erie Cathedral Prep (PA))
Notes: If you could have purchased stock in a recruit, I would have bought a million shares of Anzalone's stock about two weeks ago. The young man has earned offers from pretty much everyone in the east and midwest (as well as some SEC schools, including one with 87 listed offers. On February 23.) With a brother on campus, Anzalone is high on Penn State, but told me he is definitely going to take his time and look around.
Defensive Back (3-4)
1. Kendall Fuller (CB) (Good Counsel (MD))
2. Eli Woodard (CB) (Eastern (NJ))
3. Nadir Barnwell (CB) (Piscataway (NJ))
4. Reon Dawson (S) (Trotwood-Madison (OH))
5. Kirk Garner (S) (Good Counsel (MD))
Others: Tim Harris (S) (Stone Bridge (VA)), Delando Johnson (S) (Calvert Hall College (MD)), Delton Williams (S) (Erie Cathedral Prep (PA))
Notes: Not much here. Garner and LB Mike McCray weren't able to make the trip last weekend, so getting them on campus is important. Though, once again, recruiting this position group well over the coming years (and then steadily thereafter) is going to be very crucial to Ted Roof's defensive success.