As you may know by now, my name is Nick Polak, and I'm taking over the Recruiting Roundups (You can read my introduction post here). I always enjoyed the format that Junny used for these posts in the past, so I'm going to pretty much keep it the same, while adding in my own flair here and there. Any bigger news or updates will be accompanied by brief explanations, and then followed by the Big Board. The rankings for each position will be a combination of their talent level, interest in PSU, and plausibility. The world of recruiting changes very quickly (as you all know), so there may be drastic changes from one Roundup to the next. Finally, I'd love to interact with all of you in the comments section, so please don't hesitate to share your feelings about my work, or to provide suggestions on how I can make the posts more enjoyable for you. I'm sure you have plenty of comments ready, both kind and hurtful!
Defensive Backs on Defensive Backs on Defensive Backs...
O'Brien and the staff picked up two defensive back recruits in the last 2 weeks, with the commitments of Daquan Worley and Marcus Allen. While no one really knows how many more DB's will end up in this class, there are a lot of extremely talented ones interested. Troy Vincent Jr. (son of former Eagle CB Troy Vincent) is reportedly leaning heavily towards Penn State, and could be ready to commit soon. Dravon Henry, one of the top players in Pennsylvania, has Penn State among his top choices. And then there's Jabrill Peppers. The 5 star corner recently named his top 4, and PSU made the cut. He's planning a return trip to State College soon, so Bill and the staff can get another chance to make a good impression. Unfortunately, they can't all be Lions thanks to the upcoming scholarship restrictions, but it looks like this class could have an elite stable of defensive backs anyway.
O'Connor Planning for June Decision...
Penn State's top target for their 2014 class in terms of Quarterbacks has announced his intentions to make a commitment in June. He's currently working in Florida with Chris Weinke, who has apparently been very impressed (And who are we to argue with Chris Weinke?). There's some tough competition for him (mainly Michigan State), but things are looking good so far. Read more about him here at BWI ($).
Potential, Kind of, Maybe Scholarship News...
Did you guys know that we have sanctions on our scholarships? Me neither!! But apparently we have to have our roster down to 65 guys by 2014. But wait, you say. Haven't we already been cutting down the roster? Why yes, sir or ma'am, you are correct! As Ben Jones illustrates here, Jim Delany could help us take advantage of our early efforts to trim the roster to 65 (kind of). So everyone, start tweeting nice things about Delany. Bill was talking him up on the Caravan, so our help can't hurt!
Recruiting Roundup Big Board!
(Whenever I type "Recruiting Roundup", I immediately think of the song Woody’s Roundup from Toy Story 2. Is that just me? It’s just me isn’t it...)
But before that, let's take a quick look at the roster breakdown at the moment. The roster currently has 63 scholarships for the 2014 season (Including the current committed class of 8). With the approaching sanctions, the roster must be down to 65 scholarship athletes for the 2014 season. So conventional thinking would lead us to believe that there are no more than two or three spots left in this class, but of course things change with rosters all the time these days. Without sanctions, this could have been one hell of a class. However, even with the depleted numbers, it's looking like it's going to end up being pretty outstanding anyway. All the being said, let's go to the Board!
Penn State Recruiting Class of 2014 Big Board
Estimated Class Size: 10-11
Current Commitments: 8
2. J.J. Consentino (Central Catholic (PA))
Notes: The staff is going all out on O'Connor, whose interest seems quite genuine. With Steven Bench transferring, there is a definite lack of QB depth, which should have a positive impact in O'Connor's recruitment. Michigan State and Vanderbilt are the main competition here, so let's do work Bill. Also, according to a tweet today from Adam Friedman, Penn State just offered current FSU commit, J.J. Consentino. What that means about O'Connor is yet to be seen.
2. Mark Allen (DeMatha Catholic (MD)) (Committed 10/16/12, Recruited by Larry Johnson)
Notes: To beat a dead horse even further into oblivion, versatility is going to be key with the kids O'Brien recruits in the upcoming years. Scott has experience playing both sides of the ball in high school, so while he may be best suited for running back or receiver, he may be called upon in the future to fill other needs. Something to keep in mind.
1. De'Andre Thompkins (Swansboro (NC)) (Committed 4/20/13, Recruited by Stan Hixon)
2. Chris Godwin (Middletown (DE)) (Committed 4/23/13, Recruited by Ron Vanderlinden)
3. Troy Apke (Mt. Lebanon (PA)) (Committed 4/13/13, Recruited by Charles London)
Notes: Barring something completely unexpected, wide receivers are done for this class.
Notes: Due to the abundance of talent at tight end on the current roster, paired with the limited scholarships, the staff won't be picking up a tight end in this class.
1. Jermaine Eluemunor (Lackawanna C.C. (PA))
2. Alex Bars (Montgomery Bell Academy (TN))
3. Noah Beh (Scranton Prep (PA))
4. Alex Bookser (Mt. Lebanon (PA))
Notes: Offensive Line is a difficult position to evaluate at this point in time. All of the listed players have real interest in Penn State, but there are also reasons to assume they won't end up here. Eluemunor is getting attention from all of the elite programs, and has official visits still to take in the SEC (Which doesn't fit Penn State's time frame). Bars is reportedly leaning towards Michigan. Beh has a top 2 of Penn State and Boston College, but the staff doesn't seem to be making much of a push for his commitment. Bookser hasn't let much of anything leak about his intentions. It wouldn't be surprising to see any of them end up in blue and white, but it also wouldn't surprise me to see them all head elsewhere. So this will be interesting.
1. Thomas Holley (Abraham Lincoln (NY))
2. Ricky Walker (Bethel (VA))
Notes: Holley is the big prize here. While he still has many visits to make to powerhouses all over the country, he was in attendance for the Blue and White game, so it appears he is keeping Penn State in serious consideration. He is taking his time however, and with every day that passes, it becomes less likely he'll end up a Lion. Walker isn't likely to come to a decision soon either, although he has said that Penn State is in his top 5 at the moment. These are both fine players, and the staff would be eager to pick up either one of them.
1. Jeremiah Clarke (T.C. Williams (VA))
2. Peyton Newell (Hiawatha Sr (KS))
Notes: Clarke has publicly stated that he currently has a top 3 of Penn State, NC State, and Virginia. However, Clarke still has visits to make further south, and as with Holley and Walker, time is simply not on Penn State's side. Peyton Newell has an offer on the table, but he also has interest from many other big schools. When he announces his top 5, we'll see if Penn State makes the cut, but don't count on it (And while he is listed as an end, Newell's size suggests more of a DT).
1. Troy Reeder (OLB) (Salesianum (DE)) (Committed 2/26/13, Recruited by Ron Vanderlinden)
2. Jared Wangler (OLB) (De La Salle Collegiate (MI))
Notes: A commitment from Wangler would likely seal up the linebackers for this class. That being said, while Wangler is by no means a lock, things are looking good. He is reportedly visiting this weekend, where Bill will surely try to seal the deal. He's picked up more interest recently, but Penn State remains the heavy favorite.
***UPDATE: Jared Wangler has committed to don the blue and white today (5/10/13)***
1. Daquan Worley (CB) (Coatesville Area Shs (PA)) (Committed 5/3/13, Recruited by Ron Vanderlinden)
2. Marcus Allen (S) (Dr. Henry A. Wise, Jr. (MD)) (Committed 5/10/13, Recruited by Larry Johnson)
3. Jabrill Peppers (CB) (Paramus Catholic (NJ))
4. Dravon Henry (CB/S) (Alquippa Shs (PA))
5. Troy Vincent Jr. (CB) (Gilman (MD))
Others: Anthony Davis (CB) (Gateway (PA))
Notes: With Worley and Allen now on board, the question becomes how many more defensive backs does the staff think they need. Everyone is pissing their pants about Peppers naming Penn State in his top 4 (and rightfully so
), but the fact remains that he is still a long shot to become a Lion. Obviously it would be an incredible get for the staff though. Dravon Henry is the other top target, with the main competition coming from Pitt (Who if you didn't read, we are renewing our basketball rivalry with
). He is one of the top players in Pennsylvania, and the staff is looking to follow through on its commitment to keeping top home talent in state. Vincent is very high on PSU, and could end up committing very soon. All of these recruits understand that Penn State has a small number of available spots to give, there is still likely action to come, following Allen's commitment today (This may exclude Peppers, who may have a spot available for him no matter how long he waits to decide).
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