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The Kids Are Alright: Part Three

Yes, we were slightly interrupted by the lead-up to Signing Day, but let's continue our examination of the Nittany Lion recruiting class -- again, in the order they committed.  Part One | Part Two

Brandon Felder - Wide Receiver - Oxen Hill, Maryland

Ht. 6'3"  |  Wt.165  |  40: 4.45

One of the best wide receivers in Maryland heading into his senior year of high school, Felder sustained a torn lateral cruciate ligament and anterior cruciate ligament during an August, 2008, scrimmage.  Penn State stood by him.  The recovery is going well, but not exactly fast:

Monica J. Clothiaux, a physical therapist at Orthopedic Medicine of Alexandria (Va.) who has treated Felder, said the nature of Felder's injury made creating an effective rehabilitation regimen very challenging.

"The lateral tear in addition to the anterior tear slowed down the tempo of recovery," she said. "He's been committed but he has a way to go."

Just file the name away for now, and see where he's at in another 12 months.  He should be a good one if he gets back up to speed.


Curtis Drake - Wide Receiver / QB - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Ht. 6'0"  |  Wt. 170  |  40: 4.55

A lot of recruitniks were down on The Drake when he first committed -- why the hell do we need a two or three-star, undersized QB recruit? -- but give the PSU coaching staff credit for spotting a rough gem.  Drake evolved into the Pennsylvania AA Player Of The Year and led his team to the state championship game.  Given the subsequently successful recruiting of quarterbacks Kevin Newsome and Paul Jones,  Drake will likely see time at wide receiver.  He's more quick than fast -- think of a slightly slower Derrick Williams, but a better high school passer.  Drake actually threw 15 TD's against only three INT's his senior season.  Here he is with future Penn State offensive lineman Mark Arcidiacono.  Drake obviously has learned well from childhood urban legends -- playing dead so the bear won't eat him. 



Curtis Dukes - Running Back - Philadelphia, New York

Ht. 6'2"  |  Wt. 235 |  40: 4.5 

For weeks, there were rumors that the PSU coaching staff found some sort of mutant running back in upstate New York.  Say hello to Curtis Dukes, and be excited.  If you like highlights of obviously overmatched defenses trying to tackle something they can't catch or bring down, this is for you (the run at 1:20 is especially hilarious for the size of the safety trying to run after Dukes):

Of course, the obvious comparisons are to this guy.  Let's hope Dukes is half as good.


Adam Gress - Offensive Tackle - West Mifflin, Pennsylvania

Ht. 6'7"  |  Wt. 290 |  40: 5.22

Scouts Inc. loves him, provided his improves on his technique and footwork.  Allen Trieu, last seen on the BTN's recruiting special, named Gress as his sleeper of Penn State's class:

This kid was a little bit of a late bloomer. He came to our Scout combine a few years back as a 245-lb tight end. One year later, he was a 6'7, 295-lb offensive tackle and a very good one to boot. I watched him really turn it on this summer and dominate a couple of summer camps, which earned him his slew of offers. I think the Nittany Lions got a steal and a future starter here.

He also had offers from Michigan, West Virginia, and Rutgers.  Oh, and he surfs when given the chance.  He also looks like a massive version of Billy Zabka, which quickly moves him to the top of my Favorite Recruit List.

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Christian Kuntz - Wide Receiver - Camp Hill, Pennsylvania

Ht. 6'4" |  Wt. 190  |  40: 4.46

Then again, having a funny name helps, too.  The operative word on Kuntz is "controversial".  Perhaps no other recruit has received such scrutiny, whether it's fair or not.  He earned a scholarship after participating in a PSU camp -- even though Kuntz comes from a run-heavy high school offense, the coaches loved his hands and route-running skills, and offered him a scholarship early in the recruiting process.  He's not a guy that many schools were pursuing heavily at the time, which led to a lot of the hand-wringing about the scholarshpi offer.  He's tall.  He can run.  Besides that, we don't know too much about his receiving skills.  He also suffered a knee injury toward the end of his senior season.

Christian Kuntz

Coming in Part Four of our series:  Nate Cadogen, Glenn Carson, Devon Smith, Anthony Fera, and Garry Gilliam.