Recruiting Roundup (8.14.13)

I'm back in State College for the year! Get ready for exclusive hot takes.

We're very close to entering into the dead months of the recruiting calendar. Now that recruits are all starting up their high school seasons, most of them like to take things significantly slower. They'll still take visits to schools for games and things of that nature, but in general, there isn't much movement. So once football season starts up, my roundups will become much less frequent (But anything truly newsworthy, I will make a post for, aside from simply tweeting about it). With that being said, I leave you with my favorite moment in my favorite episode in Office history. Enjoy.

Time to find a New Linebacker

As you all probably know by now, Jared Wangler has decommitted from Penn State, and committed to play for Brady Hoke's squad, up in Ann Arbor. While this news is certainly disappointing, it's not very surprising. Jared has every reason in the world to want to be a Wolverine. He's from the area, his father was a legendary UM quarterback, his brother is currently on the team, and one of his good friends is 2013 commit, Shane Morris. Don't hold any bitter feelings towards Jared. He had pretty good reason to believe that Michigan was never going to offer him, so don't blame him for committing and decommitting. We wish Jared all the best, except for when he's playing against Penn State. Read Maize n Brew's introduction post for him here.

Visit Recaps

Mike Gesicki and Montae Nicholson both paid visits to State College this past weekend. BWI has a full recap of Gesicki's visit here ($). His recruitment is still playing out, and while I still believe Ohio State is the team to beat, it would seem that this race is getting closer and closer. Expect a decision from the Manahawkin product sometime in early November. Montae Nicholson took a surprise visit to Happy Valley this weekend to come watch practice. I know this partially because of tweets from Sean Fitz and Ryan Snyder, and also because Montae and I were in the Family Clothesline at the same time on Sunday. This is why they pay me the big bucks people, these are the inside scoops that matter. Montae still holds PSU in high regards, and he plans on narrowing his top 12 sometime during this upcoming football season.

Antoine White's Decision

Antoine has officially decided to enroll early, meaning that there is a good chance this 2014 class ends up containing 17 players. I spoke with Antoine a little about his decision, and he was absolutely beaming about it. He told me he spent a lot of time thinking about it, but in the end, it was the easiest decision he ever made. We look forward to having you on campus this year, Antoine!

For this week's quotes, we shall use Blades of Glory.


Penn State Recruiting Class of 2014 Big Board

Estimated Class Size: 17 (Maybe)

Current Commitments: 12

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

Notes: "Personal philosophy? Clothing optional."


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)) (Lead Recruiter: Stan Hixon)

Notes: The staff has seemed to step up their efforts in regards to recruiting Ollison lately. With the 2 extra spots available with this class thanks to O'Connor and White enrolling early, taking 3 running backs in this class is no longer a seemingly impossible idea. He's planning on a decision in September after he takes some official visits. Wisconsin is still the favorite here in my mind, but I'll keep you updated.


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: "We love you Denver! City by the Bay!"


Tight End
1. Mike Gesicki (Manahawkin (NJ)) (Lead Recruiter: Ron Vanderlinden)

Notes: As I spoke about above, Gesicki took a visit to Penn State this past weekend. By all accounts, it went very well (As visits here usually do). There is clearly a strong appeal for any tight end to play in O'Brien's system (Especially with the news of these mythical 4 TE sets). He continues to take his time with his decision-making process, so updates will continue to come when I get them.


Offensive Line
1. Noah Beh (Scranton Prep (PA)) (Committed 6/1/13, Recruited by Mac McWhorter)
2. Alex Bookser (Mt. Lebanon (PA)) (Lead Recruiter: Charles London)

Notes: Sigh. Another week, another week of non-information on Alex Bookser. I think he's going to end up at Pitt, and based on how many linemen we are recruiting for 2015 already, it would seem that the staff might agree with me. But we'll see. I'm going to kick in an extra gear to try and get in touch with him before his season starts up, so I'll try to give you an update on him soon.


Defensive Tackle
1. Antoine White (Millville Senior (NJ)) (Committed 7/1/13, Recruited by Ron Vanderlinden)
2. Thomas Holley (Abraham Lincoln (NY)) (Lead Recruiter: John Strollo)
3. Ricky Walker (Bethel (VA)) (Lead Recruiter: Charles London)
4. Joe Keels (Highland Community College (KA)) (Lead Recruiter: Stan Hixon)
5. Derrick Nnadi (Virginia Beach (VA)) (Lead Recruiter: Larry Johnson)

Notes: Thomas Holley is reportedly planning on attending the Penn State Syracuse game at Metlife Stadium, which allows him to see two of his top competitors play on a neutral site. While this certainly isn't ideal to show off everything that a Penn State gameday has to offer, it should be a impressive display of how well Lions fans travel. Hopefully this rubs off well on Holley, because this class could use another DT. Walker continues to hold Penn State in his top 2, but is still taking time to decide. Keels is still evaluating his options, and Nnadi seems to still be falling off (Still predicting VT all the way over here).


Linebacker
1. Troy Reeder (OLB) (Salesianum (DE)) (Committed 2/26/13, Recruited by Ron Vanderlinden)
2. Jason Cabinda (OLB) (Hunterdon Central (NJ)) (Currently committed to Syracuse)
Dropped Out: Jared Wangler (OLB) (De La Salle Collegiate (MI)) (Committed to Michigan) :(

Notes: Well this kind of sucks. Losing Wangler is a shame, because not only is he a great linebacker whose reputation is growing every day, but he is also a fantastic human being. I wish him the absolute best with his future career at Michigan, and you should do the same (Except for when they're playing the Lions, of course). That being said, the staff is beginning to reach out to other 2014 linebackers to replace him in this class. The first name to surface in the aftermath was Jason Cabinda. If you remember, I wrote about Cabinda some in my recap of the Advanced Skills Camp a while back. He was a standout performer, and while he is currently committed to Syracuse, O'Brien and the staff may have a decent shot at flipping his commitment.


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. Troy Vincent Jr. (CB) (Gilman (MD)) (Committed 6/26/13, Recruited by Larry Johnson)
4. Dravon Henry (CB/S) (Alquippa (PA)) (Lead Recruiter: Charlie Fisher)
5. Montae Nicholson (CB) (Gateway (PA)) (Lead Recruiter: Charles London)


Notes: Dravon Henry won't have his decision until after his upcoming football season, when he can take his official visits, so he's pretty much put his recruitment on the back burner for now. Not much new to report on that front. If you're interested, here's a riveting interview with Henry by the Pittsburgh Post Gazette. As I said above, Montae Nicholson took an unexpected visit this weekend. It seems to have gone well (He looked pretty happy at Family Clothesline #Analysis). I'm trying to get in touch with Montae to talk about the visit, and if I'm able to do so, I'll post something about it!

***In the time since this article was written/posted, Jordan Dudas (Erie (PA)) transferred to Penn State from Bucknell.  He has to sit out a season before he is eligible to don the blue and white.  To satisfy your desire for more information for the time being, read this.***



Overall Big Board of 2014 Recruits

This board will be a ranking of the remaining recruits based on my opinion of who the staff desires most. It will not take into account the likelihood of their commitment.

1. Dravon Henry

2. Thomas Holley

3. Montae Nicholson

4. Ricky Walker

5. Mike Gesicki

6. Alex Bookser

7. Derrick Nnadi

8. Joe Keels

9. Qadree Ollison

10. Jason Cabinda




Class of 2015 (And Beyond) Updates

Names will be followed by Year, Position, High School, and Star Rating According to 247Sports.

Tommy Hatton (2015) (OL) (St. Joseph's Regional (NJ)) (4*)- Has Penn State as his favorite-Still planning on visiting for a game-Knows he needs to work on footwork-Should be earning his Penn State offer very soon

Jerome Baker (2015) (LB) (Benedictine (OH)) (4*)- Ohio State looks to be the favorite-PSU has some work to do

Jake Cooper (2015) (LB) (Archbishop Wood) (3*)- Shutting down all recruiting to prepare for camp-Big wrestler as well-Should earn a PSU offer by the middle of his season

Sorry I didn't have more to tell you guys this week, but like I said, recruiting is slow right now (Especially for a team with limited scholarships to hand out). As I mentioned earlier, now that the season is starting up here in a few weeks, recruiting slows to a near molasses-pace. As a result of this, Cari and I will only each be posting once every 4 weeks (Alternating between the two of us, every 2 weeks), so my next Roundup isn't going to come until about a month from now. Like I said though, I'll be sure to post any updates that I deem noteworthy during that time, and be sure to follow me on twitter for updates as well. Don't fret though, I'll still be posting regularly, just more about the current team and less about recruiting during the season. Finally, as you may have seen, I just began writing for PSU in the NFL thanks to my friend, Brian (PSUDrumline or something like that), who is now in charge of the whole site. While the first week's recap was short and dry, I promise that future recaps will fulfill all of your wildest fantasies. So be sure to check over there for weekly recaps of our former Nittany Lions in their NFL exploits. (Check out Victory Bell Rings for such articles as well).

Today, I leave you with this wonderful Vine, courtesy of Da'Quan Davis.

Merry Wednesday to all, and to all, a good morning. Unless, of course, you're reading this in the afternoon or at night. In which case...

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