Despite last weekend's major weekend, today's will be a light roundup. We'll hopefully have more reactions and interviews coming soon.
Blue/White 2012: What Penn State Gained. Officially, nothing yet. But with upwards of 70 guests, the foundations were laid. The coaches have officially hit the road for the Spring Evaluation period, and a good majority of the big name recruits (as well as commits) have already been visited. Given the limited number of coaches that are allowed to be recruiting on the road (seven), and given the fact that the head coach cannot recruit on the road right now, the coaches that are out there will be putting some serious mileage on their cars and frequent flyer accounts.
Blue/White 2012: What Penn State Lost. The biggest commitment of the weekend that affected Penn State was also the earliest, as PA LB Alex Anzalone pledged his loyalty to Ohio State on Saturday (sometime very shortly after I said to a friend I was tailgating with "It wouldn't surprise me if Anzalone committed to Ohio State this weekend."). Recruiting is a fickle game, and Penn State is going to get some big name prospects, and it's similarly going to miss on some big name prospects. You can be upset that the Nittany Lions missed on a highly rated in-state linebacker, but don't be upset with that highly rated in-state linebacker. Alex is a good kid, and I spoke with him after his commitment.
"I[Ohio State] offered the best opportunity academically and athletically. I meshed well with the current players but more importantly the recruits. I loved the campus how it's kind of a city but not really and I had a really good relationship with [assistant coach Luke] Fickell."
The academic opportunity Alex is talking about is acceptance into Ohio State's honors program. Penn State did not offer a similar opportunity, and to a young man that carries over a 4.0 GPA, that was an important aspect of his OSU choice. It's not all bad news, though. Alex told me that "[assistant coach John] Butler said they'll still recruit [me], just in case anything happens. We all know how college football works these days." I'd say his commitment to Ohio State is solid, but if the Class of 2012 taught us anything, it's that anything can happen.
And As Usual. The Big Board.
Penn State Recruiting Class of 2013 Big Board
Estimated Class Size: 16-22
Current Commitments: 8
1. Christian Hackenberg (Fork Union (VA)) (Committed: 02/29/2012, Recruited by Charles London)
Notes: Should the number of scholarship quarterbacks change in the coming weeks or months, I don't think you'll see another pro-style quarterback, the type of passer best suited for the Bill O'Brien offense, taken in this class. There are a couple of Athlete/Quarterback prospects that Penn State could go after should they decide to take another commitment. Until that becomes an apparent strategy, conventional wisdom says Hackenberg is the man in this class.
Running Backs (1-2)
1. David Williams (Imhotep Charter (PA)
2. Corey Clement (Glassboro (NJ))
3. Richie Anderson (Johnson (MD))
4. Zaire Williams (Timber Creek (NJ))
5. Roman Clay (Lancaster Catholic (PA))
Others: Austin Brown (FB) (Easton Area (PA))
Notes: Williams is still "the man" here, and that likely won't change until the speedy Philadelphia back makes a decision one way or another. Deshawn Coleman committed to WVU. Clement is a new name for most recruiting followers, as he claimed an offer from Penn State recently. How that jives with the "You're the main guy on our board" approach being taken with David Williams, we still don't know.
Wide Receiver (1-3)
1. Robert Foster (Central Valley (PA))
2. Brian Lemelle (Bishop McDevitt (PA))
3. Tyler Boyd (Clairton (PA))
4. Kyle LaPorte (Piscataway (NJ))
5. Paul Harris (Frederick Douglass (MD))
Others: William Fuller (Roman Catholic (PA)), Zach Grant (Paul VI (NJ))
Notes: This position really is up in the air at the moment, as it's tough to say which, if any, of these guys may end up at Penn State. Lemelle was on campus last weekend, while Foster and Boyd did not make the trip.
Tight End (0-1)
1. Adam Breneman (Cedar Cliff (PA)) (Committed 03/09/2012, Recruited by the ENTIRE STAFF)
Offensive Line (3-5)
1. Brendan Mahon (Randolph (NJ)) (Committed 03/17/2012, Recruited by John Strollo)
2. Andrew Nelson (Hershey (PA)) (Committed 04/15/2012, Recruited by Larry Johnson)
3. Dorian Johnson (Belle Vernon (PA))
4. Derwin Gray (Friendship Academy (DC))
5. Jaryd Jones-Smith (West Philadelphia Catholic (PA))
Others: Ethan Pocic (Lemont Township (IL)), Brad Hanson (Monsignor Donovan (NJ)), Tommy Hopkins (Westlake (NY)), Jordan Page (Pennington (NJ)), Dan Samuelson (Plymouth (IN)), Tevin Montgomery (Tabor Academy (MA))
Notes: Johnson remains the top target, and after a good visit last weekend, appears to have Pitt and Penn State tied atop his list. It's still going to be tough to get him out of western PA, but the staff is doing their best. Gray was also on campus last weekend, and appears to have straightened his academic affairs out that hampered his recruitment in the past. Coach Johnson is recruiting Gray, so there's that.
Defensive Tackle (1-2)
1. Greg Webb (Timber Creek (NJ)) (Committed 04/05/2012, Recruited by Larry Johnson)
2. Justin Moody (George Washington (PA))
3. Donovan Munger (Shaker Heights (OH))
4. Donta Wilkins (Potomac (VA))
5. Maurice Hurst, Jr. (Xaverian Brothers (MA))
Others: Tevin Montgomery (Tabor Academy (MA)), Henry Poggi (Gilman (MD)), Rod Crayton (Dadeville (AL)), , Eddie Vanderdoes (Placer (CA)), Poet Thomas (Detroit Country Day (MI)),
Notes: Not much movement here, and it remains to be seen whether the staff will take another prospect at defensive tackle. One to watch is Maurice Hurst from Massachusetts; the four-star tackle is high on Penn State, but is still offerless while the staff concentrates on other positions of need.
Defensive End (2-3)
1. Garrett Sickels (Red Bank Regional (NJ) (Committed 03/04/2012, Recruited by Jon Strollo)
2. Curtis Cothran (Council Rock North (PA)) (Committed 03/26/2012, Recruited by John Butler)
3. Dajaun Drennon (Timber Creek (NJ))
4. Wyatt Teller (Liberty (VA))
5. Nick Arcidiacono (Archbishop Wood (PA))
Others: Jonathan Allen (Stone Bridge (VA)), Alquadin Muhammed (Don Bosco Prep (NJ))
Notes: Like the tackle spot, this one could be done.
1. Buddy Brown (Williamstown (NJ))
2. Michael Deeb (MLB) (American Heritage (FL))
3. Zayd Issah (Central Dauphin (PA))
Others: Marcus Newby (Quince Orchard (MD)), Jake Plonski (Erie Cathedral Prep (PA))
Notes: No. 1 linebacker, off the board. The recruitment of Brown is a curious one, as the young man appears to be high on Penn State, but they appear to be stalling for some reason. Deeb is a good looking linebacker, but won't be visiting for a couple of months, if at all. Issah was on campus last weekend, and will likely receive some visits soon.
Defensive Back (3-4)
1. Ross Douglas (CB) (Avon (OH)) (Committed 02/29/2012, Recruited by Stan Hixon)
2. Nadir Barnwell (CB) (Piscataway (NJ))
3. Delton Williams (S) (Erie Cathedral Prep (PA))
4. Darian Hicks (CB) (Solon (OH))
5. Reon Dawson (S) (Trotwood-Madison (OH))
Others: Kirk Garner (S) (Good Counsel (MD)), Delando Johnson (S) (Calvert Hall College (MD)), Kennedy Frazier (S) (Calvert Hall (MD)), Milan Collins (Bishop McNamara (MD))
Notes: Barnwell received his PSU offer, one many were hoping was coming, as the talented cornerback would be a great addition to this class (and likely close out the CB recruiting). Delton Williams also recently received his offer, while Collins was on campus and is very high on Penn State.