In honor of the concert that I didn't get to go to due to vacation, your country music selections for the week are courtesy of Mr. Luke Bryan. And then, of course, more Macklemore. If you're country music haters (*Cough* Bill *Cough*), I suggest at least giving these songs a chance. I didn't like country until I was forced to listen to it, and now I love it.
Just A Sip by Luke Bryan, What Country Is by Luke Bryan, I Don't Want this Night To End by Luke Bryan, and Irish Celebration by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis.
We're Going Camping!
Penn State held its first camp of the summer on Saturday, June 1st. The nature of these camps as long as the sanctions loom, are going to be a little different than in the past. Most of the players who are going to be a part of 2014 classes that attend, are going to be guys that the staff sees as
walk-ons run-ons. Of course, there are 2015 players as well, and those are the ones that will probably be receiving the most attention. That being said, one 2014 attendee did seem to make an impression on the staff: LB Jason Cabinda. He was pulled aside by the staff for a little extra work, and very well may end up as a run-on for O'Brien's boys. Brock Boxen (DL) could also potentially receive an offer. The most notable performance at the camp, reportedly, was St. Peter's Prep (NJ) DB Minkah Fitzpatrick. He's expected to be one of the higher regarded 4 star prospects next year, which also means Penn State will have a lot of competition for him. Tuck away his name, however, because we'll probably be mentioning his name a lot on here come next year. Read more about him here. Two other standouts from the camp were 2014 WR Zeccheus Robinson and 2015 TE Kenneth Wright. Robinson showed elite speed that would a true asset to the offense to stretch the field, and Wright showed very reliable hands. 2015 OL Richie Petitbon also picked up an offer this weekend. He's expected to get a ton of offers, so it's going to be on like Donkey Kong very soon. Read more about the camp here on ESPN ($).
**Insert "Beh" pun here**
Some clarity was finally shed on the state of the offensive line portion of this class, with Noah Beh's commitment this past weekend. He has the necessary height to succeed, but is a little lighter than he should be to be a dominant tackle (probably due to his work as a defensive end for Scranton Prep). However, it's become pretty obvious at this point that it doesn't take Craig Fitzgerald very long to mold his players into exactly what O'Brien wants. With Beh's commitment, this class is very likely done with its recruitment of offensive linemen for 2014. Top ranked JuCo OL Jermaine Eluemunor recently named his top 6, and it did not include Penn State. Every indication pointed to PSU being a top option for Jermaine, so we are left to assume that McWhorter and Co. decided to focus on Beh instead. Bookser named a top 8 that put PSU in the middle of the pack, but again, with Beh's commitment, they're probably done here.
O'Brien and O'Connor: A Match Made in Heaven
Michael O'Connor has set his commitment date for June 8th. He has reportedly been holding off a commitment this long in anticipation of possibly picking up a few more offers. His top schools right now are Penn State, Missouri, Mississippi State, Rutgers, South Florida, and Vanderbilt. He has been considered a Penn State lead for quite some time now, and nothing has changed in that regard. The combination of being under the tutelage of O'Brien and Charlie Fisher, and the lack of depth at the QB position in the coming years, are surely working in Penn State's favor at this time. He plans on enrolling in January, wherever that ends up being.
Headlines were hard to come by this week...but now it's Big Board Time!
Penn State Recruiting Class of 2014 Big Board
Estimated Class Size: Less Than or Equal to 15
Current Commitments: 10
1. Michael O'Connor (IMG Academy (FL))
2. J.J. Cosentino (Central Catholic (PA)) (Committed 3/18/13 to Florida State)
Notes: We'll have a much more informative update about the quarterback situation after the 8th when O'Connor makes his decision. If I was forced to make a call, I would say that O'Connor ends up here, but we will find out soon. For those with BWI subscriptions, you can read more about O'Connor here
. Though Cosentino remains on the radar, if O'Connor choses Vanderbilt, Missouri or elsewhere, I wouldn't be surprised to see O'Brien not pick up a quarterback, and try to go after 2 of them in next year's class (Because last time we got 2 QB's in one class it worked out really well
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)
Notes: I wonder if I'll ever get to write about running backs.
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: Everyone should take a second to appreciate how good this receiver class is, because they're quite talented.
1. Mike Gesicki (Manahawkin (NJ))
Notes: Gesicki currently has a top 4 comprised of Penn State, Rutgers, Wisconsin, and Ohio State (Who have yet to offer). He outlines specific reasons why each school is in the top 4 here
($). He's listed as a wide receiver by some sites, but the PSU staff wants him as a hybrid tight end (Think Aaron Hernandez). He's planning on adding two more schools (south of Big 10 country) to that list before he starts to really move towards a decision. He reportedly doesn't have any sort of timetable at the moment.
1. Noah Beh (Scranton Prep (PA)) (Committed 6/1/13, Recruited by Mac McWhorter)
2. Alex Bookser (Mt. Lebanon (PA))
3. Jermaine Eluemunor (Lackawanna C.C. (PA))
Notes: Beh's commitment leaves us in uncertain, and decided territories at the same time. While it sure seems like the staff is probably done with linemen for the class, there's no denying that we could still use some OL depth on the roster. So Alex Bookser naming PSU in his top 6 is worth still monitoring for the time. The staff seems to be done with Eluemunor, as his final group will have him heading either down south, out to California, or to Columbus. Despite all of this, we got a good one in Beh, and I expect we're probably done with offensive linemen for the class.
1. Thomas Holley (Abraham Lincoln (NY))
2. Derrick Nnadi (Virginia Beach (VA))
3. Ricky Walker (Bethel (VA))
Notes: Thomas Holley remains the biggest target for Penn State, due to his interest and ratings, but Derrick Nnadi is a name that PSU fans need to start paying more attention to. Listed as the 34th overall player in the country by Rivals, he is a huge talent. His very recent decision to start really looking at schools outside of Virginia has put Penn State firmly in the hunt for the 4 star DT. Larry Johnson is heading up his recruitment, and Nnadi could end up being his signature recruit. He is not, however, close to making a decision at this time. Walker has over 20 offers, but is still high on Penn State. He also is not planning on announcing for a while, however.
**Late addition: Previously discussed JuCo transfer candidate, Delvon Simmons from Texas Tech, is transferring to USC
1. Jeremiah Clarke (T.C. Williams (VA))
2. Peyton Newell (Hiawatha Sr (KS))
Notes: Newell isn't really considering Penn State at this point. He holds over 30 offers, and while Larry Johnson will continue with his due diligence, don't expect anything from that road. Clarke is reportedly still high on Penn State, but Miami is considered to be the leader at this point in time. He is reportedly planning on committing sometime in June, so hopefully I'll have an update of him for my next Roundup.
1. Troy Reeder (OLB) (Salesianum (DE)) (Committed 2/26/13, Recruited by Ron Vanderlinden)
2. Jared Wangler (OLB) (De La Salle Collegiate (MI)) (Committed 5/10/13, Recruited by Ron Vanderlinden)
Notes: As mentioned above, Jason Cabinda seems to have impressed the staff on Saturday, and while he won't earn a scholarship offer, he may end up joining Reeder and Wangler as a run-on. In 2015 news, Jake Cooper (Archbishop Wood Catholic (PA)) was visited by John Butler for the 2nd time this month, and I've heard that if PSU offers, he'll commit. So he may be part of some early movement in that 2015 class. Wangler, after not receiving a ton of attention previously, has been viewed as a riser, receiving verbal offers from Michigan State and LSU. Fear not, however, he seems to be very firmly committed to Penn State.
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. Dravon Henry (CB/S) (Alquippa (PA))
4. Troy Vincent Jr. (CB) (Gilman (MD))
5. Montae Nicholson (CB) (Gateway (PA))
Dropped Out: Jabrill Peppers (CB) (Paramus Catholic (NJ)) (Committed to Michigan 5/26/13)
Notes: The big news here is that Jabrill Peppers announced his intentions, by rapping his commitment
to Michigan. Which is unfortunate, but was pretty much expected. He grew up a Michigan fan, has been a Michigan lean for his whole recruitment, and now will wear, in his words, "that winged helmet". While it's obviously disappointing to see him committing somewhere other than PSU, especially somewhere else in the B1G, it really speaks to O'Brien and his staff's recruiting prowess that Penn State was even in the running for Peppers, after not really being on the radar at the beginning of his recruitment. That being said, the staff has moved on, and so should you. Dravon Henry becomes the top target left on PSU's board, and he's a good one. He still has a top 4 of OSU, PSU, Pitt, and WVU, but PSU and WVU are reportedly the favorites. It's not really clear when he's planning on making a decision (although the fact that he's listed a top 4 would lead me to believe he is at least somewhat close to deciding), but it is expected that the staff will wait him out as long as necessary. Troy Vincent seemed to be on the verge of committing a few weeks ago, but then decided to take a few more visits. Penn State is still seen as the favorite, and with Vincent seemingly done with his visits, a decision could come soon.
Just in case you wanted a gut punch, here ya go..
And then there was this
**One last thing. While I can't remember if he ever actually did it or not, I know Junny talked about doing a Recruiting Mailbag once a month. So I decided I'm going to try to do the same. So if you have any good questions about recruiting, feel free to leave them in the comments, or tweet them at me (Tweeting would be better).**
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