Danny O'Brien Update. Not technically Class of '13 recruiting news, but since it's probably the most important name in the next few months, here you go. O'Brien was on campus last weekend taking a tour and meeting with coaches. Apparently the visit went well, and many feel that Penn State is the team to beat when O'Brien makes his decision mid-April. He has visited or plans to visit Ole Miss and Wisconsin, and Connecticut and Vanderbilt are also mentioned in conjunction with the soon-to-be-former Maryland quarterback. O'Brien will have two years of immediate eligibility remaining.
Visiting Updates. A couple of prospects will be on campus this weekend, but no sirens are expected to come from the visit (unless a certain New Jersey linebacker comes away from the visit with an offer, but that is not expected).
However, next weekend is shaping up to be quite a weekend. Penn State's top two commitments in the Class of 2013, Adam Breneman and Christian Hackenberg, will be on campus. Additionally, a couple of top targets will be joining them, with WV WR Ryan Switzer and PA RB David Williams expected to make the trip. PA OL Mike McGlinchey is supposed to be making the trip as well. Switzer and McGlinchey have been specifically targeted by at least three of the current commits (including both Breneman and Hackenberg), so watch for updates. There may be more visitors, as the word is getting out from the current commits that this class is going to be something special.
Rivals Ranking Update. Rivals.com updated their positional rankings. All five Penn State commitments remain four-star players, while their position rankings are as follows:
Adam Breneman - No. 1 tight end
Ross Douglas - No. 21 athlete
Christian Hackenberg - No. 8 pro-style QB
Brendan Mahon - No. 21 tackle (despite that he'll be a guard or center)
Garrett Sickels - No. 2 weakside DE
As Usual. Big Board, after the jump...
Penn State Recruiting Class of 2013 Big Board
Estimated Class Size: 16-22
(Recruits listed in no particular order...yet)
1. Christian Hackenberg (Fork Union (VA)) (Committed: 02/29/2012, Recruited by Charles London)
Others: Damion Terry (Erie Cathedral Prep (PA)), Malik Zaire (Alter (OH))
Notes: IF another QB is taken, that player will likely fill more of a "Athlete" role ala Damion Terry.
Running Backs (1-2)
1. David Williams (West Philadelphia Catholic (PA))
2. Derrick Green (Hermitage (VA))
3. Richie Anderson (Johnson (MD))
Others: Greg Bryant (American Heritage School (FL)), Austin Brown (FB) (Easton Area (PA)), DeShawn Coleman (Hickory (PA)), Ty Isaac (Joliet (IL))
Notes: As expected, we saw some movement here, as Deveon Smith committed to Michigan, setting in motion some other moves (and apparently setting off Derrick Green, if you are friends with him on Facebook). David Williams remains THE running back in this class, should he choose to accept the scholarship offer. While a decision isn't expected anytime soon, Williams will be on campus two weekends from now (along with some other top recruits), so Penn State is in good shape for the in-state back.
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: Paul Harris (Frederick Douglass (MD)), 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: As stated, Ryan Switzer will be on campus in a couple weeks, so he'll be on commit watch (along with the others). Foster remains the top prize at wide receiver, universally heralded as No. 1 in the country. Lemelle is another guy to keep an eye on, as he and Switzer would both fill the Wes Welker role, so it would be interesting to see if the staff would take both.
Tight End (0-1)
1. Adam Breneman (Cedar Cliff (PA)) (Committed 03/09/2012, Recruited by the ENTIRE STAFF)
Notes: Scott Orndoff committed to Pitt this week, so the door is officially shut here.
Offensive Line (2-4)
1. Brendan Mahon (Randolph (NJ)) (Committed 03/17/2012, Recruited by John Strollo)
2. Dorian Johnson (Belle Vernon (PA))
3. Mike McGlinchey (William Penn Charter (PA))
4. Jordan Page (Pennington (NJ))
5. Brad Hanson (Monsignor Donovan (NJ))
Others: Ethan Pocic (Lemont Township (IL)), Jaryd Jones-Smith (West Philadelphia Catholic (PA)), Tommy Hopkins (Westlake (NY)), Hunter Bivin (Apollo (KY))
Notes: McGlinchey will be on campus with the other recruits in two weekends. Like Switzer, look for him to be on commit alert. Dorian Johnson has been blowing up the scene recently, but has also visited nearby Pitt a number of times in the past few months.
Defensive Tackle (1-2)
1. Justin Moody (George Washington (PA))
2. Greg Webb (Timber Creek (NJ))
3. Donovan Munger (Shaker Heights (OH))
4. Eddie Vanderdoes (Placer (CA))
5. Donta Wilkins (Potomac (VA))
Others: Rod Crayton (Dadeville (AL)), Henry Poggi (Gilman (MD)), Poet Thomas (Detroit Country Day (MI))
Notes: Greg Webb is planning a return trip to Big Ten country, including a stop at Penn State. This is something of a surprise, as Webb was one of the Timber Creek players who ran into some issues during a trip to Happy Valley last year. There are rumors about a possible visit from Vanderdoes, but even if that visit were to happen, I don't see the highly recruited young man leaving the west coast.
Defensive End (2-4)
1. Garrett Sickels (Red Bank Regional (NJ) (Committed 03/04/2012, Recruited by Jon Strollo)
2. Jonathan Allen (Stone Bridge (VA))
3. TaShawn Bower (Immaculata (NJ))
4. Dajaun Drennon (Timber Creek (NJ))
5. Wyatt Teller (Liberty (VA))
Others: Curtis Cothran (Council Rock North (PA)), Alquadin Muhammed (Don Bosco Prep (NJ)), Nick Arcidiacono (Archbishop Wood (PA)), Tracy Sprinkle (Elyria (OH))
Notes: Other than a potential visit from Sprinkle in the near future, there isn't much news here, despite the need for at least one more commitment. Then again, it's only March.
1. Alex Anzalone (Sam LB) (Wyomissing (PA))
2. Buddy Brown (Williamstown (NJ))
3. Michael Deeb (MLB) (American Heritage (FL))
4. Zayd Issah (Central Dauphin (PA))
5. Marcus Newby (Quince Orchard (MD))
Others: Tim Kimbrough (Warren Central (IN)), Ben Gedeon (Hudson (OH)), Jake Plonski (Erie Cathedral Prep (PA)) Micah Kiser (Gilman (MD))
Notes: Alex Anzalone continued his tour of schools, while some of the other big names on the board (Kimbrough, Gedeon) can probably be taken off the board due to lack of any real interest.
Defensive Back (3-4)
1. Ross Douglas (CB) (Avon (OH)) (Committed 02/29/2012, Recruited by Stan Hixon)
2. Kendall Fuller (CB) (Good Counsel (MD))
3. Eli Woodard (CB) (Eastern (NJ))
4. Darian Hicks (CB) (Solon (OH))
5. Nadir Barnwell (CB) (Piscataway (NJ))
6. 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)), Reon Dawson (S) (Trotwood-Madison (OH))