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Penn State Recruiting Update - Defense

The other day we went through an update on Penn State's recruiting efforts on the offensive side of the ball, so today we'll go through the defense.

Defensive Tackles

Projected Need: 2

Verbal Commits: None

In the last two recruiting classes Penn State has brought in two defensive tackles: Brandon Ware and Jordan Hill. Jared Odrick runs out of eligibility this year, and Tom McEowen, Abe Koroma, and Ollie Ogbu aren't far behind. So Penn State really needs to bring in two defensive tackles in this class.

So far there is nothing in the basket, but signs are looking good with Sharrif Floyd from Philadelphia, PA. Floyd is a five-star prospect and the #3 rated tackle in the country as rated by Scout. They also just got in the game with DaQuan Jones of Johnson City, NY and gave him a scholarship offer.

Personally I feel really good about our chances with both of these guys. Floyd is slow playing things, but I think we're the leader there. He has said he doesn't have a top five, but if he did, Penn State would be in it. Jones just got his offer and plans to visit at the end of this month. I wouldn't be surprised if he commits during his visit or within a week after it.

Defensive Ends

Projected Need: 2

Verbal Commits: None

The early departures of Maurice Evans and Aaron Maybin left the depth chart pretty thin at defensive tackle. So I'm thinking Penn State is going to take two defensive ends in this class.

They haven't landed any commitments yet, but the coaches have been very selective in their offers. Dominique Easley from Staten Island is the top target. He hasn't named any leaders yet, but I have to think our reputation, location, and depth chart have to be attractive to him and Penn State will be in it to the end with him.

The other big target is Kyle Baublitz from York, PA. He has made numerous visits to Penn State, and the Nittany Lions are considered to be his leader.


Projected Need: 2

Verbal Commits: Mike Hull

Penn State only took one linebacker, Glen Carson, last February. Sean Lee is gone after this season, and there's a high possibility Navorro Bowman won't be back next year if he has another great season. So I'm thinking we need to take two kids in this class.

Mike Hull committed back in December, but we still need one more. Everyone seems to think it's just a matter of time until Khari Fortt commits to Penn State. His high school teammate, Silas Redd, is already a Nittany Lion. Fortt loves Penn State and has made several visits.

Defensive Backs

Projected Need: 1

Verbal Commits: None

Penn State took a huge haul of defensive backs in the last class with three safeties and three cornerbacks. By all accounts Gerald Hodges looks impressive and will probably be a three year starter beginning in 2010. Drew Astorino looks like he has the other safety spot all to himself until 2012. With freshmen speedsters Derrick Thomas, Darrell Givens, and Stephen Morris competing at cornerback along with sophomore D'Anton Lynn, the secondary is looking pretty promising for the foreseeable future.

But with Timmons and Wallace graduating after this season there are a few scholarships available to give. So I wouldn't be surprised if they take one or two kids, but I'm not counting on it. I think with the way Astorino and Hodges have been impressing along with the overflow of bodies at cornerback it's very possible we'll sit this year out when it comes to defensive backs. If a four or five star stud at another position wants to get on board, this is the position that will suffer in order to make room for them.

But having said all of that, Penn State is floating a few offers out there. It never hurts to dip your lure in the water and see what bites. Jeff Knox from Maryland, Sean Parker from California, and Keenan Allen from North Carolina are reportedly sporting offers. Of those four, Knox seems to be the most promising since he lives in the state of Larryland and he recently listed Penn State in his top four along with Michigan, Maryland, and Pitt. But he has yet to make a visit to campus.

June Status Report

It's still early in the recruiting season, but it's a bit concerning that the offense has six verbal commitments and the defense only has one. (I never thought I would see the day!) And that one is Mike Hull who committed seven months ago.

The coaches are clearly being selective in who they offer as evidenced by the low number of known offers out there. They have to do this with a small class. My concern is that we wait too long on these kids, and then if they decide to go elsewhere it's too late to get back in the game with the other top targets. I would feel better if we had more offers out there, but I understand it's a delicate balance. You don't want to fill up your roster with all the two and three star kids that would normally be destined for the MAC. I suspect we'll see another round of offers sent out soon after the summer camp circuit wraps up.