While we wait for any news out of Bellefonte, here is the weekly recruiting roundup. Other than the commitment of Brandon Bell, news has been slow surrounding Penn State recruiting, and thus the updates aren't as in depth. Hopefully that is about to change...
Unfortunate News First. Adam Breneman busted his ACL in a 7v7 outing recently, and will be out for an undetermined amount of time. His first (only? I'm unfamiliar with ACL rehab) surgery is scheduled for July 10. From what I've read and heard of similar injuries, recovery time is 12-18 months. With still a year to go in high school, hopefully the five-star tight end can get back to full health. Here's to a speedy, healthy recovery.
Hackenberg Shines. Christian Hackenberg participated in last week's Elite 11 camp in Las Vegas, and was very impressive, by all accounts. You can see video of Hack in Vegas here. Nice zip, good footwork, hitting guys in stride? Yes, please.
That's right, China. All the linebackers. Frustrating many fans of Linebacker U, Penn State took some time before they landed the first (of four, likely) linebackers in the Class of 2013 when Brandon Bell made the call last week. He may not be alone in the group for long, though. No less than four additional linebackers are on commit watch, depending on what the others in the group do. PA's Zayd Issah, NJ's Al-Rasheed Benton, MD's Zach Bradshaw, and NJ's Buddy Brown could all end up Nittany Lions in short order. Well, not all, since the staff will probably stop with four in total, but the staff has been putting the pressure on the first three of those guys. Brown is being kept at bay for the moment while the other three make up their minds, but all parties are aware that these spots likely won't be held open much longer. Another linebacker, Freddie Stevenson out of Florida, recently spoke with SBN Mothership's Bud Elliott about his favorites, including Penn State.
"I love how Penn State develops linebackers, and I like coach [Stan] Hixon," Stevenson said. Hixon has been instrumental in Penn State's renewed recruiting efforts in the Sunshine State.
As Always. The Big Board, after the jump.
Penn State Recruiting Class of 2013 Big Board
Estimated Class Size: 18-22
Current Commitments: 11
1. Christian Hackenberg (Fork Union (VA)) (Committed: 02/29/2012, Recruited by Charles London)
Running Backs (1-2)
1. David Williams (Imhotep Charter (PA))
2. Derrick Green (Hermitage (VA))
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: Derrick Green is back on the board, as the Virginia back recently made a trip to Happy Valley and had some nice things to say. This one likely doesn't end with Penn State, so this still remains the David Williams Show. Corey Clement is off the board after committing to Pitt, a solid pickup for the Panthers. Keep in mind that this class of recruits will be in their junior/senior year of eligibility when Pitt and Penn State get together, so it's time to start keeping a closer eye on the Pitt recruits.
Wide Receiver (1-2)
1. Will Fuller (Roman Catholic (PA)) (Committed 06/05/2012) (Recruited by Ron Vanderlinden)
2. Brian Lemelle (Bishop McDevitt (PA))
3. Tyler Boyd (Clairton (PA))
4. Daryl Worley (William Penn Charter (PA))
5. Paul Harris (Frederick Douglass (MD))
Notes: Bill O'Brien got his first wide receiver with Fuller, and may stop there. The other players listed are all solid players, but for a variety of reasons may not end up at PSU. This is now a position where the staff can afford to sit and wait, and concentrate on those few receivers in which they may still have serious interest; if they don't pan out, Fuller alone would be a good class.
Tight End (0-1)
1. Adam Breneman (Cedar Cliff (PA)) (Committed 03/09/2012, Recruited by the ENTIRE STAFF)
Offensive Line (2-3)
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))
Notes: It appears as though the staff are pleased with the two commits they have so far, and aside from Johnson, aren't pursuing many other offensive linemen. In fact, the only uncommitted offensive lineman with a Penn State offer is Johnson. With Pitt and Penn State "neck and neck" for the Pittsburgh area native, it remains anyone's guess where he'll end up. My gut says Pitt because of distance (or lack thereof, to remain close to family).
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. Tevin Montgomery (Tabor Academy (MA))
Others: Poet Thomas (Detroit Country Day (MI))
Notes: Like the OL, the staff can afford to wait here, if they in fact take another DT. Should someone like Eddie Vanderdoes (who is planning a visit to Happy Valley after building a great relationship with Larry Johnson and Bill O'Brien) decide to pick PSU, you find a spot. However, right now it is slow moving out there, as it doesn't seem like the staff is really pressuring any of these other guys or that they are really making a play for any of them.
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))
Notes: This position is probably closed out, but could see a late addition depending on how the staff progresses elsewhere on the board.
1. Brandon Bell (Oakcrest (NJ)) (Committed 06/13/2012) (Recruited by Ron Vanderlinden)
2. Alex Anzalone (Wyomissing (PA))
3. Al-Rasheed Benton (Malcolm X. Shabazz (NJ))
4. Michael Deeb (MLB) (American Heritage (FL))
5. Zayd Issah (Central Dauphin (PA))
Others: Zach Bradshaw (Damascus (MD)), Buddy Brown (Williamstown (NJ)), Freddie Stevenson (Bartow Senior (FL)), Marcus Newby (Quince Orchard (MD)), Jake Plonski (Erie Cathedral Prep (PA))
Notes: The pressure is starting to rise with this group of linebackers, as the coaching staff has told a few of these uncommitted recruits that the doors will be closing soon, and space is limited. Alex Anzalone stands atop this group of linebackers, but I don't think he ends up in blue and white. Our behind-the-scenes siren watch is on for any of Benton, Issah, and Bradshaw. Four linebackers appears to be the ceiling, and with Buddy Brown also on commit watch, we could see some real movement here soon. Stevenson recently made waves when he announced a top four of FSU, Texas A&M, Penn State, and Florida (with the Gators being the only team to have not yet offered a scholarship), but I don't see him leaving the state. I spoke with Bud Elliott, SBN's lead recruiting editor and noted Florida State enthusiast, and he seems to think that both the Seminoles and Gators won't have a spot for Stevenson. Seems like everyone is making a run at shoring up their linebacker group for the Class of 2013.
Defensive Back (3-4)
1. Ross Douglas (CB) (Avon (OH)) (Committed 02/29/2012, Recruited by Stan Hixon)
2. Neiko Robinson (S) (Northview (FL)) (Committed 06/03/2012, Recruited by Ted Roof)
3. Nadir Barnwell (CB) (Piscataway (NJ))
4. Solomon Warfield (S) (St. Edward (OH))
5. Kirk Garner (S) (Good Counsel (MD))
Notes: Delton Williams' name is gone after his marijuana possession arrest (along with Class of 2012 Iowa RB commit Greg Garmon (YES AIRBHG, ALL YOUR IOWA RUNNING BACKS, PLEASE). Darian Hicks' name came off the board after committing to Michigan State. The staff is really going after Nadir Barnwell, and feel like they are in good position for the highly talented cornerback.
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