Penn State filled a major void this evening when Michigan offensive lineman Deon'tae Pannell called the Penn State coaches to pledge his verbal commitment to play football for the Penn State Nittany Lions.
Pannell stands an imposing 6'5" and 300 lbs. Rivals and Scout rate him a three star prospect and respectively rank him the #43 and #31 offensive lineman in the country. The schools looking at him seem to be mixed between whether he'll play guard or tackle, but Penn State will most likely utilize him as an offensive tackle.
I must admit when I heard Penn State offered this kid I wasn't very optimistic we were going to get him to leave his home state. He held an offer from Michigan State and stated he really coveted an offer from the Wolverines. When he got that offer I thought it was a done deal he was going to Ann Arbor. As the weeks went on he eliminated schools but he always had the Nittany Lions near the top. I consider this a major victory from the coaches. Anytime you go into Michigan and pull out a top prospect from under the noses of the Wolverines it's been a good day.
This is just wild speculation, but I think the Penn State coaches will have their hands full to keep this kid a solid verbal. After a late July visit to Happy Valley he announced he was going to pick a school. Usually when a kid visits your school and says he's going to announce a decision a few days later it's a good sign. But Pannell unexpectedly delayed his decision for a few weeks until today saying he wanted to make sure he was making the right choice. If he's had second thoughts the past few weeks the chances are he may have second thoughts down the road. But again, that's complete speculation on my part and I hope I'm wrong.
Pannell is a fantastic addition to the Penn State family. He's the sixth verbal commitment this year along with Mike Mauti, Mike Yancich, Mike Zordich, Brandon Beachum, and Matt Stankeiwitch. His verbal commitment fills a major void at offensive tackle for the Nittany Lions. But I think we still have one more to go in this class.