Recruiting Roundup (6.19.13)

New additions to the Roundup this week!

A few notes before we dive in. First off, if you didn't go follow Mike Wilson from The Only Colors on twitter yet, go do it right now. His twitter account is full of juicy recruiting notes. Secondly, I'd like to point out that this is the 2 week anniversary of the birth of Chris, so go ahead and pat yourselves on the back. Thirdly, there are two new sections of the Roundup that have been added in at the bottom, which require your feedback (What are they, you ask? You'll have to read on and find out!). And finally, I've realized that my music choices for you were less than ideal for this crowd. Therefore I have decided that each Roundup will now be accompanied by a clip from my favorite TV show of all time, The Office. So I'll start you off with one that sailed right over my head the first time I watched it, but looking back, might be one of my favorite Michael Scott quotes ever.

An Update on Zayd Issah

Zayd participated in the Big 33 Game (along with future Penn Staters Andrew Nelson and Evan Galimberti) this past weekend. They don't keep individual defensive stats, but Issah's name reportedly was repeatedly heard over the loudspeakers. He is currently leaning towards attending Fork Union Academy in Virginia (where one Christian Hackenberg hails from). Penn State is still in his sights for the future, and it sounds like O'Brien is still willing to give him his chance to play in Beaver Stadium. We'll be following Issah's season, and updating you on his situation whenever we can.

ESPN's New Top 300 Features 3 Future Lions

While their recruiting rankings and ideas are often very different from those of sites such as Scout and 247, ESPN's Top 300 list is always a hot ticket anyway. The latest edition of these rankings includes 3 future Nittany Lions, in De'Andre Thompkins (#54), Michael O'Connor (#125), and Chris Godwin (#153). While we know all too well that recruiting rankings end up meaning little until they perform on the field, being recognized as one of the top athletes in the country by the biggest sports network in the world is nothing to scoff at. This list might even include other future Penn Staters by the time it's over and done with, but for now, huge congratulations to De'Andre, Michael, and Chris.

In Case You Missed Them...

I've been conducting interviews with all the members of the 2014 class (That I can get into contact with). If you're interested in reading them, you can find them all right here. Noah Beh, De'Andre Thompkins, Michael O'Connor, Jared Wangler, Marcus Allen, Chris Godwin, and Mark Allen.

Big Board Time!

Penn State Recruiting Class of 2014 Big Board

Estimated Class Size: 15 or fewer
Current Commitments: 11

Quarterback
1. Michael O'Connor (IMG Academy (FL)) (Committed 6/8/13, Recruited by Charlie Fisher)

Notes: Donezo (Spellings may vary).


Running Back
1. Nick Scott (Fairfax (VA)) (Committed 2/23/13, Recruited by Larry Johnson)
2. Mark Allen (DeMatha Catholic (MD)) (Committed 10/16/12, Recruited by Larry Johnson)
3. Qadree Ollison (Canisius (NY))

Notes: Penn State extended an offer to Ollison last night. What this says to me is that the staff is making sure they get 15 commitments, and is not positive they will reach that number with the guys left that they are recruiting. Ollison holds offers from 14 schools, including Wisconsin, Iowa, Indiana, Pitt, and Rutgers. I don't expect Ollison to end up here, but this late offer is very interesting, and something to watch for. I'll have an extra update around noon for Ollison that I will add in here, so check back for that.


Wide Receiver
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: Lock 'em up and throw away the key.


Tight End
1. Mike Gesicki (Manahawkin (NJ))

Notes: Nothing much has changed for Gesicki since my last post. He still lists his top 4 as Penn State, Wisconsin, Ohio State, and Rutgers. With O'Connor's commitment, Penn State has 4 scholarships left to offer. I remain skeptical that Gesicki ends up in the blue and white, not only due to the fact that he would be luxury commitment, but also because he still wants to add two more schools to his list before making a decision. Mike still needs some time to sort things out, and by the time he does, there may no longer be a spot waiting for him. However, he's still a great talent. And as we've seen, O'Brien will never turn away great talent.


Offensive Line
1. Noah Beh (Scranton Prep (PA)) (Committed 6/1/13, Recruited by Mac McWhorter)
2. Alex Bookser (Mt. Lebanon (PA))
Dropped Out: Jermaine Eluemunor (Lackawanna C.C. (PA)) (Committed to UCLA 6/10/13)

Notes: As we discussed last time, Eluemunor seemingly fell out of favor with the coaching staff, leading to him completely dropping off their radar. Alex Bookser, however, is still considering Penn State. He is reportedly visiting with his parents sometime next week, and how often do you hear about a visit with parents to Penn State that doesn't go well? Things could get very interesting, very quickly with the 4 star offensive lineman. I'll be tweeting out any updates as I hear them, so be sure to follow.


Defensive Tackle
1. Thomas Holley (Abraham Lincoln (NY))
2. Derrick Nnadi (Virginia Beach (VA))
3. Ricky Walker (Bethel (VA))

Notes: Thomas Holley remains at the very top of Penn State's board, behind only Dravon Henry. He is also, however, getting more and more attention nationally as time goes on. He will be traveling a lot this summer, down to Florida, for FSU and Florida, out to Ohio State and Notre Dame, and then out to Oregon for The Opening. He still has a strong relationship with Larry Johnson though, and we've all seen what that can do. Hopefully it will be enough to draw this unique talent to State College. Nnadi still has a top 6 of FSU, MSU, OSU, PSU, UVA, and VT. However, based off of the tone of his interviews, it would seem that UVA is becoming less and less of an option as time goes on. He has a great relationship with Larry Johnson (Are you sensing the theme here?). He hasn't yet given much of an indication as to when he's going to narrow down further, or make a decision, so for now, we play the waiting game. Walker reportedly still holds PSU in high regards, as has them in his preferred group at the moment. Whether or not he makes it up to State College for a visit, is yet to be seen.


Defensive End
Dropped Out: Jeremiah Clarke (Committed to UNC 6/16/13)

Notes: In what was a somewhat surprising move, Clarke committed to UNC on Sunday. We wish him the best in Chapel Hill. Unless there is someone flying completely under the radar, the staff isn't recruiting any other defensive ends for scholarships purposes at this point.


Linebacker
1. Troy Reeder (OLB) (Salesianum (DE)) (Committed 2/26/13, Recruited by Ron Vanderlinden)
2. Jared Wangler (OLB) (De La Salle Collegiate (MI)) (Committed 5/10/13, Recruited by Ron Vanderlinden)

Notes: We got our linebackers, ya'll.



Defensive Backs
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. Dravon Henry (CB/S) (Alquippa (PA))
4. Troy Vincent Jr. (CB) (Gilman (MD))
5. Montae Nicholson (CB) (Gateway (PA))

Notes: No movement with the defensive backs since last time. Troy Vincent Jr. could still commit any day now. Despite his recent visits, Penn State is still said to be his leader, and current commit, Marcus Allen, is apparently trying to sway him this way. Dravon Henry's status remains the same, with his top 4 of WVU, PSU, Pitt, and OSU, but he is still planning on visiting other places as well. Reports are that he will take a trip down to UK (I have no explanation for their insane recruiting class, but I will say that I don't expect them all to stay Wildcat commits). But the staff still appears to be willing to wait for Henry's recruiting to play out, as he is still their top priority. All of that being said, don't sleep on Montae Nicholson. The 4 Star DB still has clear interest in PSU, and has plans to make a visit this summer if time allows. I've kept his name on the back-burner for the past week weeks, because of the lack of scholarships available, but with Vincent and Henry both taking their time, Nicholson becomes a very interesting prospect for the staff. Surely they wouldn't take all 3, but serious questions would have to be raised if Nicholson decided to pull a semi-shocker and commit to the Lions. **Stephon Morris is also on the case to bring Vincent to PSU.


Class of 2015 (and Beyond) Updates

Welcome to the first of the new sections in the Recruiting Roundup. Rather than include information about younger guys in the position listings on the Big Board, I decided that I'm going list them off in a more informal style down here. Each player will be listed along with their hometown and position. Maybe stars too. Give me feedback on that, and I'll include stars if you want them. This section is mostly made up of tidbits from conversations with these guys, hence the informality.

Trevion Armstrong (2015) (WR) (Chesterfield (PA))- Has a current top 5 of VT, WVU, ODU, Oregon, and Maryland- Also likes PSU- Being recruited by Coach London- Planning on coming up for a game

Tommy Hatton (2015) (OL) (St. Joseph Regional (NJ))- Loves Penn State, his top school right now- Planning on coming to a game- Talked with Coach McWhorter and toured campus a few weekends ago- Knows the staff is watching him this year, waiting for his offer

Brett Brumbaugh (2015) (QB) (South Fayette Twp (PA))- Holds Temple and Akron offers- Grew up a PSU fan- Would have them in his top group if he gets an offer- Couldn't make it up for a camp- Coach Fisher visited him at school

Anthony Malaguti (2015) (OLB) (Bergen Catholic (NJ))- Talked with Coach Strollo at the PSU camp a few weekends back- Staff loves his physicality, wants to see him work on coverage more- Top group is PSU, RU, FSU, Michigan, UVA, OSU- Planning return visit soon

Minkah Fitzpatrick (2015) (DB) (St. Peter's Prep (NJ))- Was reportedly the best athlete at the camp- Earned an offer that day (6/1)- Already holds offers from PSU, OSU, Miami, BC, UVA, Wisconsin, GT, UConn, and RU- Extremely hard worker, started games for High School powerhouse St. Peter's as a freshman (Insider info- I have neighbors who went there)

Richie Petitbon (2015) (OL) (Gonzaga HS (DC))- Received his PSU offer on 6/1, after the camp- Top group right now is PSU, ND, UVA, UNC- Planning to visit others as well- Planning on coming to State College for the Michigan game

Jake Cooper (2015) (ILB) (Archbishop Wood (PA))- Told by the staff that they need to see him play a few games at LB (Was mostly a DE last year) before offering-Met with coaches Vanderlinden, O'Brien, and Butler- Top group of PSU, Florida, Stanford, Wisconsin, FSU- Planning on visiting for the Michigan game

Rahshaun (Shaq) Smith (2016) (DE) (Calvert Hall College (MD))- Already holds 10 offers, including PSU- Seems to be a top target for 2016 already- Reportedly likes the PSU staff a lot

Ryan Bates (2015) (OL) (Archbishop Wood (PA))- Picked up his PSU offer on 6/8- Was reportedly the most impressive OL prospect at the camp- Holds offers from PSU, GT, Temple, UVA, and South Carolina

Recruiting Mailbag

The final addition to the Roundup is the mailbag. So if you have any recruiting questions, that you would rather ask here than the big mailbag by Cari and Jared, just leave them in the comments, or tweet them at me.

Maybe the obvious is the answer to this question… but how does the recruiting process typically work after a given number of guys give their verbal commitments to a school and all of the available scholarships will theoretically be filled? For example, let’s just say that PSU can only have 15 guys in the class this year, and we see 14 sirens on BSD for guys that commit to play for B’OB. and there are 2 more guys considering PSU. Well guy #1 jumps on it and says, "I’m in!" while #2 is more of a putz and waits a couple weeks longer. Does B’Ob then say to guy #2, "Hey, sorry, you’re a putz and took too long to commit, so now we have to rescind your offer."? -tadhg

In terms of what happens after someone commits somewhere, or after a class fills up, the staff will always keep in contact with the player. Nothing is set in stone until signing day, so for the staff to not keep in contact with say, Jabrill Peppers or Jeremiah Clarke, would be foolish. You can bet that there are coaches still contacting Michael O'Connor, De'Andre Thompkins, and everyone else everyday. And for a player who wanted to accept a scholarship offer, but there is no more room, you can bet the staff is still keeping in touch with them as well. De-commitments are not un-common, so the staff has to be ready to fill up a spot if need be.

Do you think we can grab both Holley & Nnadi at DT? What about signing both Henry & Vincent at DB? Then we can still grab one more top ranked guy ( best available)? -NJDeadhead (PSU_Buch also asked about the possibility of picking up both Henry and Vincent)

Penn State has 4 scholarships left to give. My prediction is that the final 4 spots will be filled by Troy Vincent Jr., Thomas Holley, Dravon Henry, and one of Alex Bookser, Mike Gesicki, and Ricky Walker. Despite his extra visits, I think TVJ will end up here, and will probably commit sometime in the coming weeks (Maybe Arts Fest weekend). Holley's recruitment could still take a while yet, but his relationship with LJ is reportedly very strong, and without any other defensive lineman in this class, it's hard to imagine LJ letting a great one get away. As far as Dravon Henry, I don't know, call it a gut feeling, but I think he ends up here (WVU would be my 2nd guess). As for the other 3, reasons as to why they would come to PSU are all above in the Big Board. But if I had to choose one, I would pick Walker. Bookser's visit with his parents may change that, but Walker seems to have the most interest in Penn State out of the 3. If you want to see where I'm predicting certain recruits to go, check up on my Crystal Ball Predictions page at 247Sports.

Since I included a few new things this week, feedback would be much appreciated. This ended up being pretty long, so if you think I should separate some of these things into separate posts, let me know. If you like it all together in one place, let me know. If you want even more information, let me know. If you think Tom Dienhart is dumb, let him know.

Happy Hump Day.


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