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With the program seemingly in a lull, Pat Chambers went BEAST MODE on the recruiting trail.
NCAA Bylaws are fun and confusing.
Chambers lures yet another Philadelphia native to the Penn State basketball team.
According to Josh Verlin at CityofBasketballLove.com, recent Pitt transplant John Johnson will visit Penn State this weekend. The 6'1" point guard announced his intentions to transfer just over a week ago after not playing in the season opener. Jamie Dixon rewarded his true freshmen James Robinson the point guard position, and Johnson apparently didn't take to kindly to that.
John Johnson averaged 4.2 PPG off the bench in his first season with the Panthers last year. The class of 2011 recruit was a heralded prospect out of Philadelphia, playing three years at Girard College before finishing his high school career at Life Center Academy in New Jersey. He received offers from DeChellis, Georgia Tech, St. Joe's, Notre Dame, and St. John's before committing to Pitt.
His remaining eligibility depends on when he makes a decision. If he does quickly and enrolls at a school for the Spring semester, he will be eligible for the 2nd half of next season. The word is his participation in Pitt's exhibitions could count against his eligibility, so he would have 2.5 years left, greatly increasing the chances that this recruitment will be quick.
It's hard to imagine PSU being a serious option for Johnson, now that Frazier's injury gives him the chance to return in 2013-2014. The need for a veteran point guard is no longer necessary, and there's not much immediate PT available as Chambers already has lured five new guards to PSU. But this staff definitely loves their Philly players and with how quick they were able to convince Johnson to visit, this will be one to keep an eye on.
We might never know the mystery to Geno Thorpe's NLI, but PSU finally received it, officially completing the four man recruiting class. Chambers now is allowed to publicly talk about his future players. This is what he had to say about the class in Puerto Rico. You can read the release here.
The last remaining signature for the Penn State 2013 class has been confirmed. Julian Moore, the big man out of the Philadelphia area, also signed his Letter of Intent today to Penn State. Andrew Dzurita confirmed the news that Moore posted on his Facebook.
Conformation 2013 Germantown (PA) C Julian Moore signed his PSU letter of intent this afternoon, rounding out the class 247sports.com/Player/Julian-…— andrew dzurita (@adzurita247) November 15, 2012
The 6'9" big man also was an important recruit for a program that was losing some of its momentum. In July, the negative publicity from the sanctions really impacted the basketball staff as they were out on the road. Then Brandon Austin decommitted and it went from bad to worse. But in that same week, Moore was comfortable with the school, program, and education to pull the trigger.
The question now is, how did Geno plan on delivering his NLI? Judging by Chambers' tweets, the school has received Woodward's, Banks', and Moore's. Thorpe signed his this morning, but PSU obviously hasn't received it yet. Did he really UPS it as this instagram photo suggests? Or is the program too preoccupied with the big game tomorrow in Puerto Rico to worry about the release just yet?
Regardless, all letters have been signed, so this very important recruiting class is official. We might just have to wait a little while for the confirmation on PSU's end, but in the meantime, welcome to Penn State, boys.
After spending most of the day on twitter, it turns out Payton Banks had his signing ceremony yesterday. The 6'5" wing forward from Orange County, California signed his Letter of Intent the previous day because his school, Orange Lutheran, actually has off today for an in-service day. Turns out he faxed it to PSU today, so this was official.
Payton was somewhat of a surprise commit in early September after making a quick decision following his official visit. But the versatile wing is another great fit for Chambers' program and will have a chance to contribute right away. Welcome, Payton, to the Penn State family!
Now calling Julian Moore...
The future of the Nittany Lions backcourt was solidified this morning as both Graham Woodward and Geno Thorpe signed their Letter of Intent. Both will be leaned on next season to help offset the graduation of Tim Frazier.
It's official. #WeAre— Geno Thorpe (@GT23_) November 14, 2012
Geno has arguably been one of the more inspirational verbals this program has had in a long time. He committed to Chambers during that infamous week back in November 2011 when Joe Paterno was still the head coach. Choosing PSU at that time over schools like Wisconsin, Pittsburgh, Seton Hall, and Kansas State was very exciting.
He's been as solid a verbal as ever since that day, even when one of his fellow commits and good friends Brandon Austin bailed on the program back in July. His unwavering support of Chambers and the program has been very admirable, and we can't wait to see him don the Blue and White next year.
Graham Woodward has only been a Nittany Lion for about a month now, but he was also thrilled to sign today.
Not much is known about the Minnesota native yet, but it takes a special kid to play point guard for Pat Chambers. His toughness must be off the charts to be offered to play in the Big Ten at just 5'11" 165. He will have a huge impact on the success of turning this program around over the next four years.
The remaining two players - Julian Moore and Payton Banks - are expected to sign, but it hasn't been reported when. We look forward to welcoming these two, as well.
Today marks the first day of the fall signing period for college basketball. Prospects have the next week to sign their letter of intent or risk waiting until the spring period. Many prospects will hold their announcements for friends and family at their schools this week to end their recruitment and focus on their senior year.
For Coach Chambers and Penn State, their four 2013 verbal commitments are expected to sign this week. Geno Thorpe tweeted that he should be signing any minute now at his high school.
I sign tomorrow 9am!! Shaler high school. #WeAre— Geno Thorpe (@GT23_) November 13, 2012
Minnesota point guard, Graham Woodward, also is expected to make it official today.
Very special day tomorrow. It will definitely be one to remember! #PSU— Graham Woodward (@gwoodward_3) November 14, 2012
It hasn't been confirmed when the other two future Nittany Lions - Julian Moore and Payton Banks - will sign the dotted line, but this week is clearly big for the future of Pat Chambers program.
We look forward to officially welcoming these young men to the program and hearing what Chambers can finally say publically about his recruiting class.
Recruiting never stops. While PSU may technically be out of scholarships, that's not stopping them from working on future classes.
Pat Chambers dipped into Minnesota to reel in his point guard of the future.
While it had been rumored for weeks and even leaked before his formal announcement, Josh Hart is off to Villanova choosing the Wildcats over Penn State and Rutgers. It's a disappointment for Pat Chambers and his staff who worked hard for his services, but Hart didn't even fill a position of need on the current roster.
PSU still has one scholarship available, and they have options. One thing is for certain - there will be a point guard in the 2013 class. They've had offers out to DJ Bowles and Graham Woodward well before Hart's decision. What could be in play is another wing if the staff expects a scholarship to open up after this year. Even if PSU doesn't fill this scholarship in the fall period, many players will become available come Spring from transfers to grad transfers, to reclassifications to decommitments.
Long way to go until the 2013 class is finished.
Sidwell Friends 2013 G Josh Hart will choose between PSU, Rutgers, 'Nova tomorrow at 4pm, per Quakers coach Eric Singletary. Location TBA.— Marcus Helton (@MarcusHelton) October 9, 2012
Four-star small forward Josh Hart is set to make his college decision official tomorrow afternoon. It will be the end of a recruitment that PSU has been after for over a year. Hart actually made his first unofficial to PSU about a year ago.
With just three schools left, PSU has given themselves a good chance for the heralded prospect, but many believe Villanova is likely the call. Hard to know for sure though, as Hart's quotes have been far from consistent. Just this week, Zagblogs' recent Hart update claimed Villanova was the only school to not negatively recruit Hart in the process. But just a few days earlier, Hart told the National Recruiting Spotlight that Penn State 'hadn't really either'.
We do know Hart loves PSU's campus and the PSU coaching staff, but will that ultimately sway his decision to the Blue and White? There's some tangential factors favoring Nova and Rutgers...
Tune in tomorrow afternoon for his announcement.
Thanks to all the schools that recruited me so far. My remaining 3 are Villanova, Rutgers, and Penn State— Josh Hart (@TeamNike_Hart) October 2, 2012
Consensus four-star wing Josh Hart from Sidwell Friends High in Washington DC tweeted tonight that he's down to Villanova, Rutgers, and Penn State, eliminating Miami FL and Xavier in the process. Hart has taken all of his officials and his decision should come within the next week.
He took his official visit to Penn State back on September 1st for the Ohio game. Pat Chambers and Keith Urgo have been recruiting him since last summer, the longest of any of his remaining three schools. He has made three separate visits to State College over the past year, including a trip to participate Chambers' Elite Camp at the end of June. The Nittany Lions have remained in the hunt for Hart because of the strong relationship he has built with the coaching staff. But will it be enough to earn a commitment in the end? Time will tell.
Penn State continues to look for the man worthy of their last 2013 scholarship.