"Hello, this is Papa John's. Oh, hello Mr. Meyer. The usual? You got it."
Brandon Wimbush, ladies and gentlemen!
Home/HS: Jersey City, NJ/St. Peter's Prep
Weight: 208 lbs
Recruited By: Josh Gattis and Ricky Rahne
Starz 'n Sheetz:
Stars: 4* across the board
Offer Sheet: Alabama, Boston College, UConn, LSU, Maryland, Miami, Michigan State, Nebraska, Ohio State, Rutgers, South Carolina, Syracuse, Temple, Tennessee, Virginia, Virginia Tech,
You can also check out Brandon's highlights on Hudl, right here.
Brandon Wimbush has committed to Penn State— Nick Polak (@TheREALNPolak) May 6, 2014
Four-star quarterback Brandon Wimbush commits to #PennState in Bleacher Report interview. Two-for-two for the Lions.— Greg Pickel (@GregPickel) May 6, 2014
I have committed to...http://t.co/2xIY42LhJD— brandon wimbush (@BrandonW_7) May 6, 2014
Wimbush's recruitment has been interesting to watch. When O'Brien was at the helm for the Nittany Lions, Wimbush was trending towards the Ohio State Buckeyes. This made perfect sense given Ohio State's affinity for dual-threat quarterbacks, and the style of quarterback that O'Brien was looking for to run his offense. Once O'Brien moved on, and James Franklin stepped in, things changed a bit.
Having been recruited by Franklin down at Vanderbilt, Wimbush knew exactly what the situation would be at Penn State. Suddenly, one of his top schools of interest had been joined in marriage with one of his top coaching staffs. Right around National Signing Day, Wimbush's Crystal Ball began to turn a little bluer and a little whiter. Since then, Wimbush teetered back and forth between being seen as a Penn State lean who was ready to commit any day, someone who was still weighing their options, and everything in between.
Wimbush originally said that he was set to announce his decision sometime in June, but obviously things changed for the New Jersey prep school star.
"They haven't won a game yet, but just the energy around the program, and the amount of 2015 guys they've gotten I've been talking to them and they only have great things to say about the coaching staff. I've been up there about 3 times and just got a great vibe from the whole program and people around the program. I feel very comfortable on campus and around the team."
Wimbush has as much potential as any quarterback in this class. As a passer, he has a rocket for an arm. He can make all of the short and intermediate throws with ease, and is continually improving his deep ball. As a runner, he is as dangerous as any player on the field. If you watch his tape, the thing that jumps out at you right away is the speed. His running style is much more than that though, as he knows how to juke and make defenders miss, as well as run them over if he has to. When he gets to college, he will surely amend his running style a bit to avoid big hits, but you can't help but admire him as a runner. To be completely honest, he looks somewhat like Braxton Miller with a more refined arm. The comparison to Tajh Boyd has also been thrown around.
Wimbush has good size for a quarterback of his style, standing at 6'2". That size will allow for him to shake off the occasional hits that he will take as a result of his Robert Griffin III (pre-injury) tendencies to run, as well as his Russell Wilson tendencies to keep plays alive.
Don't just focus on his abilities as a runner though, because Wimbush can just as easily hurt you with his arm. There is a reason that he was very recently named as an Elite 11 finalist along with earning his invitation to The Opening. He has a very quick release that allows him to hit his receivers the second they become open, and hopefully he will continue to learn how to harness that ability along with his other physical tools while under Trent Dilfer's tutelage out in Oregon.
Wimbush is likely looking at a redshirt for his first year on campus, but after that he should be as much up for the starting job as Michael O'Connor is. Neither will have any (meaningful) game experience, and Franklin will likely give each of them a fair chance to earn the job. This could lead to some very interesting scenarios down the line, since the two quarterbacks play with different styles. That's not to say O'Connor is immobile, because he shows an ability to make some things happen with his feet if he needs to. However, Wimbush is the kind of runner that will have plays designed around that ability, so it will be an interesting battle to watch whenever it takes place. Wimbush could also end up getting some early playing time on some gadget plays.
Brandon's commitment brings the class to 15.