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Recruiting Roundup (7.31.13)

Oompa Loompa Do Ba De Do/I've got some crootin' updates for you/Oompa Loompa Do Ba De Dee/And lucky for you, all the info is free

Even though this Roundup is on the shorter side, I have some new words for all of you this week. Unfortunately, there were no new commitments, so not much has changed in the Big Board. However, I was able to talk to some of the 2015 guys, there's news about the total number of players for this class, and there's an Office clip! Because there's always an Office clip! Here's your Office clip!

Loopholes for Days

As you are all aware, we've had more than a few recruits enroll early over the last few years. Well the 2014 class is no exception. Michael O'Connor has already decided to enroll early this year, and Antoine White is strongly considering it as well. I spoke with Antoine the other day, and he told me that he has to sit down with his guidance counselor to figure out if he is academically able to come to State College early, before he makes any decisions. If Antoine does eventually enroll in the winter though, then the number of players who will be a part of this class will receive a bump. Assuming Antoine or someone else is able to enroll early, O'Brien and the staff are planning on picking up 17 total players in this class (Since O'Connor and the other early enrollee will technically count towards the 2013 class). This would put Penn State in a much more advantageous position for recruits like Dravon Henry, who will likely not make a decision until after their school season are completed.

Speaking of Dravon Henry...

Cory James over at 247 has been following Henry very closely, and provides a very comprehensive recap of his situation right here ($). Basically, Henry isn't going to commit anywhere until he takes his official visits. Alquippa doesn't allow for its players to take official visits while their high school season is taking place, so once they finish up their season, Dravon will take his visits. As I've said all along, I do believe that Henry is the ultimate prize for O'Brien's staff. Getting the (arguable) top player out of Pennsylvania, especially one who plays a position of need, would make Henry the signature pick up of this class. O'Brien has preached about how he's going to keep the top in-state talent, in Pennsylvania, and Henry is a great starting block for that goal.

JuCo's- Round 3

After initially the initial chasing, and subsequent pushing away, of Jermaine Eluemunor and Cory Johnson as potential JuCo targets, the staff has thrown out a new offer to Joe Keels, of Highland Community College in Kansas. He also holds offers from Southern Illinois and Western Kentucky, but he has been receiving interest ($) recently from the likes or Oregon and Arkansas (BERT) as well. If the staff is able to land Keels, not only would he bring experience and legit talent, but he would also be an early enrollee, allowing the staff to pick up 17 players in this class. See how all of these stories are connected? It's like the movie Crash. Which is an awesome movie. Go watch it after you finish reading this.

For our quotes in the Big Board this week, let's go with quotes from Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy.

Penn State Recruiting Class of 2014 Big Board

Estimated Class Size: 16 (Maybe 17)

Current Commitments: 13

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

Notes: "I'm gonna punch you in the ovary, that's what I'm gonna do. A straight shot. Right to the babymaker."

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. Qadree Ollison (Canisius (NY)) (Lead Recruiter: Stan Hixon)

Notes: If I were a betting man (he says while preparing to go to Atlantic City for the 2nd time in 3 weeks), I would say that Ollison is going to end up a Wisconsin Badger. Aside from that, I don't have much to update you on here. You should follow him on twitter though (@QOllison). He's very good about answering questions, and you'll get some insight into his recruitment through some of the questions he is asked.

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: "I'm in a glass case of emotion!"

Tight End
1. Mike Gesicki (Manahawkin (NJ)) (Lead Recruiter: Ron Vanderlinden)

Notes: Gesicki is still taking his time with his decision, and Ohio State still looks like the team to beat. Rutgers is also a strong competitor, but their spots are filling up quickly. Hopefully Mike will make it up to State College for a game this season, but it is yet to be seen if that will happen. So for now, we continue to wait.

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: Bookser is still a closed trap in terms of letting information slip, so I don't have much new information for you here. While I'm sure the staff would love to add Bookser to the fray, I question how intensely they are recruiting him, especially with all of the headway being made with 2015 offensive linemen such as Ryan Bates, Richie Petitbon, and others. Time will tell for Bookser.

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. Ricky Walker (Bethel (VA)) (Lead Recruiter: Charles London)
4. Derrick Nnadi (Virginia Beach (VA)) (Lead Recruiter: Larry Johnson)
5. Joe Keels (Highland Community College (KA)) (Lead Recruiter: Stan Hixon)

Notes: With the new offer out for Joe Keels, and the new magic number for the class, the landscape of the defensive tackle recruitment a bit. Thomas Holley continues to be in wait-and-see mode, but I've had a change of heart in terms of his commitment possibilities. With 4 more spots to give in the class, I think the staff is trying to pick up 2 more defensive linemen. Holley continues to speak well of Penn State, and is still reportedly planning to make his decision before his high school season begins if possible. So we may be entering into #HolleyWatch very shortly. Walker still has Penn State in his Top 2 along with Virginia Tech, but still has no timetable on a decision. Nnadi continues to be the odd man out, as his recruitment seems to have fallen wayyyyy off.

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: "Oh Baxter, you're so wise. You're like a miniature Buddha, covered in hair."

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. Dravon Henry (CB/S) (Alquippa (PA)) (Lead Recruiter: Charlie Fisher)
5. Montae Nicholson (CB) (Gateway (PA)) (Lead Recruiter: Charles London)
Dropped Out: Malik Hooker (CB) (New Castle (PA)) (Committed to Ohio State 7/29/13)

Notes: Hooker made the call to join Urban's boys, which can actually be seen as a good thing for those (like myself) who are obsessed with the idea of picking up Dravon Henry. As I spoke about above, it's still going to be a while before Henry makes his decision, so we'll be left waiting on the edges of our seats until then. However, his wanting to take official visits is a HUGE advantage for Penn State, seeing as the campus visits are O'Brien's self-proclaimed, "Ace in the Hole". Nicholson also wants to take his official visits before making a decision, so the final piece (pieces?!?!) of the defensive back portion of this class are still a work in progress. Also, for those interested, Dravon Henry's Crystal Ball page, is now split 60-40, with myself, Matt de Bear from Victory Bell Rings, and Cory James from 247 all agreeing that Henry will end up a Nittany Lion, while 247's Bob Lichtenfels and Greg Croft think he'll end up a Pittsburgh Panther. So it's on.

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. Dravon Henry

2. Thomas Holley

3. Montae Nicholson

4. Ricky Walker

5. Mike Gesicki

6. Alex Bookser

7. Derrick Nnadi

8. Joe Keels

9. Qadree Ollison

Shuffled around the order of Walker, Gesicki, and Bookser this week. Also dropped out Hooker, and added in Keels.

Class of 2015 (And Beyond) Updates

Names will be followed by Year, Position, High School, and Star Rating According to 247Sports.

Richie Petitbon (2015) (OL) (Gonzaga (DC)) (4*)- Picked up offers from UNC and Pitt- Favorite 2 schools right now are Alabama and Penn State- Visited LSU on Tuesday, done with visits for the summer- Still planning on visiting for the PSU-Michigan game

Ryan Bates (2015) (OL) (Archbishop Wood (PA)) (4*)- Just visited for the 3rd time- Wants to come up for a game this season, can't make it for Michigan- Likes South Carolina and Penn State most

Devell Jones (2015) (RB) (Lincoln High School (NJ)) (UR)- Had a great camp when he came to Penn State- Has had steady contact with PSU ever since

Patrice Rene (2016) (CB) (St. Peter Catholic High School (CAN)) (UR)- Camped at Syracuse, Maryland, Penn State, and Ohio State among others this summer- Very much enjoying recruitment

Final Notes

In case you didn't hear, everything seems to have been straightened out with Neiko Robinson in terms of completing his credits to enroll at PSU. One of the courses he took in high school did not match up with the NCAA's standards, so he had to take it as a summer school class. So he will be joining the team soon, albeit a little later than the other members of his recruiting class.

I know I talked last time about the scholarship matrix being almost finished, but this time I mean it. I think I finally have the numbers figured out with guys who left the team for various reasons, so I can publish the table confidently. So look for that soon.

Also, the Run-On Rundown is pretty much done, so that will hopefully post soon, as well.

In closing this week, I'll leave you with this very cool gesture by our future foe, Rutgers, to retire Eric LeGrand's number.

Happy Wednesday to all, and to all a good night.

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