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Recruiting Roundup (10.23.13)

BOB's makin' moves, man

I have so much to talk about today, that for once I'm not going to use this little intro paragraph to waste time.  Seriously.  Please use the following video to get a better understanding of O'Brien's recruiting mindset right now; and in this example, yes, Bill O'Brien is Dwight Schrute.

New Commits!

Unless you don't check BSD or Twitter every day (In which case, are you even a real person?), you are aware by now that Penn State has picked up two more commitments for its 2014 class.  Those two commits are of course, Mike Gesicki and Johnathan Thomas.  You can read about Gesicki's commitment right here, and about Thomas' right here (severe warning before clicking this link- a comment thread of extreme flaming bus proportions follows).

But because I'm so kind, I'll give you a quick summary of each of these fine gentlemen.  Mike Gesicki has been one of Penn State's top priorities for a while now, and had them at the top of his list from the second he received an offer.  While it sure looked like he was going to end up in Columbus, he visited for the Michigan game anyway.  I don't know about you, but I don't know how every uncommitted player there didn't just hand Bill O'Brien their souls on the spot after that one.  Johnathan Thomas was about as under-the-radar as they come, in terms of his seemingly out of nowhere commitment.  In speaking with Ryan Snyder, Penn State had apparently been picking up it's recruitment of the Massachusetts running back, and was eventually able to flip his commitment from the Terrapins of Maryland to the boys in Blue and White.

How the Current Commits Are Faring

I haven't updated you on how our current commits are doing so far this season, so I'm going to highlight some of the kids you should know about.

DaQuan Worley: The Coatesville, PA product is currently slated to play CB for the Nittany Lions, but based on the way he's running the ball this season there's going to have to be some discussion on that.  In 6 games so far this season, Worley has racked up 945 rushing yards on just 98 carries (Good for a 9.64 ypc clip) to go with 11 touchdowns.  Yeah.

De'Andre Thompkins: Thompkins has helped lead Swansboro (NC) to a 6-3 record so far this season, while putting up a pretty ridiculous set of numbers of his own.  On the season, Thompkins has 58 carries for 619 yards (10.7 per carry), as well as 23 catches for 213 yards.  Not to mention his 353 yards from kick and punt returns.  On the season, De'Andre also has 11 touchdowns on the season.

Mike Gesicki: The newest Nittany Lion commit is having a solid season of his own for Southern Regional (NJ).  So far Mike has 18 catches for 302 yards and 3 touchdowns.

Troy Apke: The Mt. Lebanon (PA) receiver has been getting the ball often this season, and making the most of his opportunities with it.  So far, he has 38 catches for 667 yards and 6 touchdowns.

For a list on how the entire class fared in their games this past weekend, visit Lions247 here ($).

Other Notes

Since we last spoke, this happened..

As the tweet says, the 2014 Penn State recruiting class can be as large as 23.  I don't think we'll fill all of those spots this year, as Bill will again convince a few guys from the 2015 class to enroll early.  But still, 23 guys is only 2 off of a full class.  Think about the tone of that section of the Roundup a month ago compared to now.  Crazy.

For today's quotes, let's go with Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi, because I am out of ideas right now.

Penn State Recruiting Class of 2014 Big Board

Estimated Class Size: Up to 23

Current Commitments: 15

1. Michael O'Connor (IMG Academy (FL)) (Committed 6/8/13, Recruited by Charlie Fisher)

Notes: "You may have been a good smuggler, but now you're Bantha fodder."

Running Back
1. Nick Scott (Fairfax (VA)) (Committed 2/23/13, Recruited by Larry Johnson)
2. Mark Allen (DeMatha Catholic (MD)) (Committed 10/16/12, Recruited by Larry Johnson)
3. Johnathan Thomas (St. John's Prep (MA)) (Committed 10/20/13, Recruited by John Strollo)

Notes: "That blast came from the Death Star!  That thing's operational!"

Wide Receiver
1. De'Andre Thompkins (Swansboro (NC)) (Committed 4/20/13, Recruited by Stan Hixon)
2. Chris Godwin (Middletown (DE)) (Committed 4/23/13, Recruited by Ron Vanderlinden)
3. Troy Apke (Mt. Lebanon (PA)) (Committed 4/13/13, Recruited by Charles London)

Notes: "And now, young will die."

Tight End
1. Mike Gesicki (Manahawkin (NJ)) (Committed 10/17/13, Recruited by Ron Vanderlinden)

Notes: "IT'S A TRAP!!!!!!!!!!"

Offensive Line
1. Noah Beh (Scranton Prep (PA)) (Committed 6/1/13, Recruited by Mac McWhorter)
2. Alex Bookser (Mt. Lebanon (PA)) (Lead Recruiter: Charles London)

Notes: His name is Alex Bookser.  He likes to not talk to people about recruitment.  He's really good at that.  Let's hope he continues to do that, and then comes here to push around some defensive tackles and ends.

Defensive Tackle
1. Antoine White (Millville Senior (NJ)) (Committed 7/1/13, Recruited by Ron Vanderlinden)
2. Thomas Holley (Abraham Lincoln (NY)) (Lead Recruiter: John Strollo)
3. Derrick Nnadi (Virginia Beach (VA)) (Lead Recruiter: Larry Johnson)

Notes: Thomas Holley DID end up attending the Michigan game, even using an official visit to do so.  This is a wonderful sign for the Nittany Lions, as O'Brien and Meyer will again, seemingly go head to head for a recruit.  Holley is an absolute stud who has risen at a meteoric pace (Nice article about him here ($?)).  PennLive dove in and asked a few of the current commits what their thoughts were on Holley's chances of becoming a Nittany Lion.  All reports out of State College about Holley have been positive, and he couldn't have been on campus for a better show ($).  I'll keep updating you on his status when I can.  Derrick Nnadi also attended the Michigan game, and apparently wants to return once more before making his final decision.  Penn State certainly seems to be in better shape with Nnadi than not too long ago, but still will need to make a strong push at the end to make it happen.

1. Troy Reeder (OLB) (Salesianum (DE)) (Committed 2/26/13, Recruited by Ron Vanderlinden)
2. Jason Cabinda (OLB) (Hunterdon Central (NJ)) (Committed 10/23/13, Recruited by Ron Vanderlinden)
3. Brandon Lee (OLB) (Lawrence Central (IN)) (Lead Recruiter: Ron Vanderlinden)
4. Melvin Keihn (OLB) (Gilman (MD)) (Lead Recruiter: Larry Johnson)

Notes: In yet another example of the power of being know as "Linebacker U", Penn State has thrown its hat into the ring with 3 star LB, Melvin Keihn, who hails from the same high school as Troy Vincent (THAT'S OUR IN!!).  Right away, he has said he has legitimate interest ($), and is planning on taking an official visit here to check it all out.  Cabinda was on campus for the Michigan game, and sure seems like he could flip his commitment any day now.  I'm not foolish enough to expect someone to go back on a commitment they made to another school, but this one just feels right (kind of like Wangler, but in the not heart-breaking way).  News has been quiet on the Brandon Lee front, as he reportedly did not make it to Happy Valley for the Michigan game.

**UPDATE- Because this is how the world works, Jason Cabinda decided to commit after I posted this.  But let's rejoice anyway!!!

Defensive Backs
1. Daquan Worley (CB) (Coatesville Area Shs (PA)) (Committed 5/3/13, Recruited by Ron Vanderlinden)
2. Marcus Allen (S) (Dr. Henry A. Wise, Jr. (MD)) (Committed 5/10/13, Recruited by Larry Johnson)
3. Troy Vincent Jr. (CB) (Gilman (MD)) (Committed 6/26/13, Recruited by Larry Johnson)
4. Montae Nicholson (CB) (Gateway (PA)) (Lead Recruiter: Charles London)
5. Shawn Boone (S) (Dwyer (FL)) (Lead Recruiter: Anthony Midget)
6. Anthony Davis (CB) (Gateway (PA)) (Lead Recruiter: Charles London)

Notes: It seems that Montae Nicholson has been fading out of the staff's reach lately.  At this time two roundup's ago, I was talking about how we might end up with both Dravon Henry and Nicholson.  And look at me now--left mopping up my own tears.  Nicholson didn't attend the Michigan game, which is not a great sign.  He reportedly plans on visiting again before deciding, but it's beginning to look like Pitt is going to end up winning out for his services in the long run.  Shawn Boone is becoming a newer emphasis for the staff, maybe looking to fill the void left by another Florida safety who never made it to campus (Miss you Neiko).  Anthony Davis, who de-committed from Temple a little while back, is somewhat back on Penn State's radar.  Nothing major has developed in that regard just yet, but I'll let you know when and if it does.

Overall Big Board of 2014 Recruits

This board will be a ranking of the remaining recruits based on my opinion of who the staff desires most. It will not take into account the likelihood of their commitment.

1. Thomas Holley

2. Montae Nicholson

3. Brandon Lee

4. Derrick Nnadi

5. Alex Bookser

6. Jason Cabinda

7. Melvin Keihn

8. Anthony Davis

9. Shawn Boone

10. Dravon Henry (I HAVE A PROBLEM, OKAY?)

Link$ and Other News

  • Penn State officially offered 2015 Dual Threat QB Brandon Wimbush from St. Peter's Prep (NJ) this past week.  Wimbush is currently a 4 star athlete (90 overall) according to 247.
  • Stud 2015 Tight End CJ Conrad spoke with 247 about his visit to Penn State for the Michigan game (Psssst- it went well)
  • Ryan Snyder has a TON of recruit reactions from the Michigan game.  Absolutely worth the read if you subscribe to BWI.
  • The Collegian compiled a ton of tweets from recruits and commits at the game against Michigan.  Worth the look.
  • John Butler was out visiting one of my personal favorites for the 2015 class, LB Jake Cooper (Archbishop Wood (PA)) this past weekend
  • Anthony Midget was in Florida visiting 2015 Tight End Jake Bargas at St. Andrew's School
  • Finally, this email was sent to us of Nick Scott's Hudl, so I'm sharing it here with all of you if you want to catch a glimpse of one of our future running backs
That's all I've got for you this time.  I'll probably have another random crootin' post during the time from now to my next Roundup (as usual).  Let's hope for a new commit or two by the time this post rolls around again though, huh?  You feelin' Thomas Holley and Jason Cabinda?  Cause I'm feelin' Thomas Holley and Jason Cabinda.  Let's get it BOB.  Go State.

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