Eight. More. Days. One hell of an offseason is thankfully coming to an end, and as the game weeks approach, the schedule is going to be slightly shifted. So say hello (and goodbye) to the final Friday Recruitin'. Fret not, though, as we're simply moving down the street to Tuesday.
With that out of the way, let's talk recruiting. The big news this week came when Penn State landed their 17th Class of 2012 commitment from Connecticut cornerback Malik Golden. Along with Armani Reeves and Jake Kiley, Golden makes up an increasingly strong secondary haul for this class, one of the biggest needs of the year. Adding a couple safeties (Demetrious Cox?) and possibly a fifth defensive back would complete the group.
What else is left? The bottom of the article lists the positions I think we're still in the mix for, but to give you an idea, we've got 4-7 spots left. Here are the individual targets, without regard for position, at the top of the board:
1) Noah Spence
2) Will Mahone
3) Demetrious Cox
4) Jarron Jones
5) Devin Fuller
6) Mike Tyson
7) Kent Taylor
8) Akeel Lynch
If the majority (or, knock on wood, all) of our remaining spots are filled by guys on that list, then we're looking at a Top Five class. And the good news is that we are in good position with each of them.
The bad news, if you can call it that, is that none of our targets have set announcements any time soon. So while the 17 sirens we've seen so far have been nice, it seems as though we're heading into a lull. The only exception I can think of would be after the Alabama game, where the list is continuing to grow with visiting recruits.
As for the rest of the recruiting needs, take the jump...
Penn State Class of 2012 commitments listed above each group in bold with commitment dates
Quarterback (2012 Quota: 1-2)
Skyler Mornhinweg (PA, 7/19/2011)
1. Devin Fuller (NJ)
Analysis: Devin Fuller will be the only quarterback left in this class. If he chooses Penn State, he's been promised a shot at QB, but his future on the field is likely at another position. Rutgers is the team to beat here; I wish I knew what Greg Schiano and Jeff Hafley (former Pitt recruiter extraordinaire) were telling kids.
Running Back (2012 Quota: 1-2)
1. Will Mahone (OH)
2. Akeel Lynch (NY)
3. Kenno Loyal (GA)
Analysis: Akeel Lynch is currently committed to Boston College, but has said he will likely visit Penn State in the near future. Before setting and rescinding his announcement date, Mahone had set a Top Four of PSU, ND, Pitt, and MSU. I don't think that has changed.
Wide Receiver (2012 Quota: 2-3)
Eugene Lewis (PA, 8/10/2011)
1. Canaan Severin (MA)
2. Jordan Payton (CA)
Analysis: Severin and Payton are still there, but figuring out who, if either, will take the last WR spot is difficult. This position could be a casualty of the "no more spots" problem, but I expect one more wideout in this class. Payton recently set up ($) a Penn State visit, though Cal, USC and Michigan are all after the USC-decommit. The battle for Severin should be against Boston College.
Tight End (2012 Quota: 2-3)
Brent Wilkerson (MD, 3/26/2011)
Jesse James (PA, 3/28,2011)
J.P. Holtz (PA, 7/22/2011)
1. Kent Taylor (FL)
Analysis: Taylor recently announced a Top Four that included PSU and Florida (and Alabama and Georgia), the top two schools vying for the talented recruit. This is a tough recruitment to grasp, as it seems to be very even.
Offensive Line (2012 Quota: 4-5)
Anthony Stanko (OH, 3/19/2011)
J.J. Denman (PA, 5/18/2011)
Joey O’Connor (CO, 6/28/2011)
1. Adam Bisnowaty (PA)
Analysis: With three linemen (Brian Gaia, listed most places as an OL, was recruited by PSU to play DT) in the bag, the staff could probably fit one more into the Class of 2012, but it will probably end with those committed. PSU's line recruitment has never really been position-specific (with obvious exceptions), so don't be surprised to see an OL listed above or DL listed below to end up on the opposite side of the ball.
Defensive Tackle (2012 Quota: 4-5)
Brian Gaia (MD, 5/9/2011)
Derek Dowrey (VA, 6/25/2011)
Austin Johnson (NJ, 6/25/2011)
Tommy Schutt (IL, 8/10/2011)
1a. Jarron Jones (NY)
1b. Jamil Pollard (NJ)
2. Faith Ekakitie (IL)
Analysis: Schutt's addition moves this position to "almost closed" status. Unless Pollard can get his grades up, this is likely down to Jones and Ekakitie, the latter of which was recently discussing official visits ($).
Defensive End (2012 Quota: 0-1)
1. Noah Spence (PA)
2. Noah Spence (PA)
3. Noah Spence (PA)
Analysis: Noah Spence-or-bust. He's set to decide in January at the Under Armour All-American Game. Steve Wiltfong of 247Sports recently penned a phenomenal article ($) about the Spence family. I like where we stand here, but hate to jinx anything (members of Lion247 have taken to calling Spence "Player X" for fear of jinxing his recruitment).
Linebacker (2012 Quota: 2-3)
Cam Williams (MA, 3/25/2011)
Nyeem Wartman (PA, 7/9/2011)
Analysis: This position is done for the year. Solid group, but even more special when you consider the fact that Cam Williams has become one of the better recruiters for the staff. Williams has been pretty active on Twitter recently, getting many PSU fans' hopes up with his promising-yet-cryptic news.
Defensive Back (2012 Quota: 4-6)
Jake Kiley (NH, 7/26/2011)
Armani Reeves (MA, 8/12/2011)
Malik Golden (CT, 8/24/2011)
1. Demetrious Cox (PA) (S)
2. Mike Tyson (VA) (S)
Analysis: Well, cornerbacks are wrapped up now, thanks to the New England Triumverate. Penn State will now focus its attention on safeties, with Demetrious Cox being the clear leader on the secondary board.
Commits to Date: 17
Estimated Class Size: 21-25
Projected Positions Left (in no particular order): RB (2), WR, DB (1-2), OL, DT, DE, TE
- 247Sports has released their early list of the potential Top247 for the Class of 2013. As I type this, there are nine members of the current Class of 2012 Top247 from Pennsylvania; in the early 2013 list, there are only six. Without getting into the "PA should be locked down" debate, here are the numbers for other top recruited-by-PSU states: MD (6), VA (10), DC (1), NJ (7), DE (1)
- Sean Fitz had a great interview with Derek Dowrey this week. I know I've had some critical words in the past about the staff's quick camp offers and commitments (which included Dowrey, though I would never presume to say a bad word about the kids themselves), but reading this has me excited for this kid. If he plays as well as he composes himself in this interview, he should be a real gem for this class.
- The Fight On State crew held a Fearless Forecast roundtable ($) this week, projecting where 20 PSU-targeted recruits would end up. Some expected results and also some very interesting guesses. I wouldn't be upset if the Class of '12 ended up like the group thinks it will.
- Lions247 recently cornered the market on "Upon Further Review", a great feature by a longtime commenter on the premium boards. I'm not familiar with him (I'm still relatively new to the premium game), but his offensive ($) and defensive ($) review/preview have been pretty stellar. There is some sentiment out there that the recruiting service industry is a cottage industry for creepy adults who want to follow 17- and 18-year old boys, but there is much, much more.
- Scout.com gives a nice rundown of the Curious Case of Paul Jones, and where his academic troubles have him heading into 2011.
- Finally, and with a strong terrorist fist jab at Lions247.com, you can see Class of 2012 walk-on (#LOLCINCY) LB Bryton Barr doing an interview with ESPN here (part 1) and here (part 2). Tell me, how many times is too many to hear kids say "Penn State was my dream school growing up"? Never-ish?