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Recruiting Roundup (9.25.13)

You guys have no idea how hard it was to not make this a picture of Bill smirking...

Boy do we have some stuff to talk about.  I'm not even going to pull my normal shenanigans, and fill this space up with pointless things, like tiny introductions to things that you'll just read more about momentarily, or little personal anecdotes that just add to my word count.  Because I don't even need to waste time during a dead-month recruiting article like I usually do, just to make sure you have something to read.  We have so much to talk about that I don't even need to do that!  Office!  Now!

Soooo..As You May Have Heard...

Remember when Mart Emmert did this?  Well now, this happened.  Most of you who read and comment on these articles, are fairly regular commenters on most article threads, especially ones of flaming bus length.  So I'm sure you've already been participating in the celebration over a much improved scholarship situation, and thrown your two cents into the conversation.  So we can gloss over what the reductions mean for the current football team.  What we CAN talk about, until we stop speaking English because it no longer sounds natural, is what this means for recruiting.

With the gradual restoration of the scholarships to the team, there are changes being made to the allotted number of scholarships available for recruiting each year.  Until today, O'Brien was mandated to stay at 15 scholarships or fewer for each recruiting class (Obviously a number that is somewhat rough, due to early enrollments).  Well now, for the 2014 class, we have 20 scholarships available (Actually 22, with O'Connor and White enrolling early).  Then in 2015 and beyond, we will have the normal 25 limit to work with.  This is like asking for a Hot Wheels car for your birthday, and instead getting one of those giant motorized hummers to drive around in, and scare the crap out of your neighbor's dog.  Well lucky for you, you are a Penn State fan, so let's sit back and watch O'Brien scare the crap out of Beckman, Meyer, Hoke, and company.

Please also feel free to jump over to Bud Elliot's explanation of the situation, if what I said just didn't reach you.

The News Can't All Be Good

Since my last roundup, my soul was indeed crushed.  Dravon Henry has eliminated Penn State from his top 3, leaving West Virginia and Pitt to duke it out for the 4* stud out of Alquippa.  HOWEVER, his father was quoted as saying if Penn State didn't have the sanctions, then he could see him son landing there.  So maybe the recent developments, and growing optimism that the bowl game ban could be lifted sooner rather than later as well, could be enough to change Dravon's mind.  But for now, it's between the Mountaineers and the Panthers ($).  I miss the thought of him already.

Penn State also lost out of Qadree Ollison, when the Canisius (NY) running back, decided to make his pledge to the Panthers of Pittsburgh.  While we certainly didn't neeeeeed a 3rd running back in the class, it sure wouldn't have hurt.  Especially because WE CAN HAVE UP TO 23 GUYS IN THIS CLASS AKSDASNDJKSNDOJDNFOWNF.

And because I simply can't wait for the Big Board this week, due to the sheer amount of awesomeness that could now come from it, let's go look at all the recruits we're still chasing, and most importantly, the changes to the good old, "Estimated Class Size".  Quotes for dry positions this week, will be brought to you by my favorite movie, Pirates of the Caribbean, because this is a joyous day.

Penn State Recruiting Class of 2014 Big Board

Estimated Class Size: 20 (Up to 22)

Current Commitments: 12

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

Notes: "If you were waiting for the opportune moment...that was it."

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)
Dropped Out: Qadree Ollison (Canisius (NY)) (Committed to Pitt)

Notes: "When you marooned me on that god forsaken spit of land, you forgot one very important thing, mate.  I'm Captain Jack Sparrow."

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: "Do us a favor...I know it's difficult for you...but please, stay here, and try not to do anything...stupid."

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

Notes: Wait, what is this section here for again?  I've been reciting Jack Sparrow quotes in my head for the last few minutes, and I'm about to turn the movie on.  Mike has been going about his business with his season so far, and he's been playing well, racking up 141 yards and a touchdown on 7 catches in 2 games so far.  I spoke with Mike about his team, and he told me the team is young, but they will be alright.  Gesicki also had very encouraging, and mature things to say about the sanctions being reduced, citing that the sanctions being dropped does not change his opinion about a school in which he already felt very strongly about.  It seems that Penn State will be in this one until the very end, and to land a young man with the maturity of Gesicki, would be a steal for the program.

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: Alex Bookser.  You elusive, elusive man.  Lots of players talk about how they don't like the whole recruiting process, and want to keep things low key, but no one does it quite like Alex Bookser.  Being the non-professional recruiting analyst that I am, I simply can't get in touch with everyone.  Especially given that I only began with this job during the summer.  So Bookser is someone I simply won't be able to get into contact with.  That being said, Marc Givler of Rivals, gives a great write-up of his current situation, right here.  Basically, Bookser has a top 3 of Penn State, Ohio State, and Pitt, and would like to visit all 3 soon, as well as another school from his secondary choices.  With the expanded room O'Brien has to work with for this class, expect the staff to put more of a full court press on for Bookser, because Noah Beh could certainly use some company on the offensive line.

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: Another spot where added spots for this recruiting class has a HUGE impact, is for the defensive line.  While Thomas Holley still is a long shot for the staff, now that they know they can wait however long for him to decide, allows them to continue to recruit him as the number one target on their board, like I believe he is.  Ricky Walker is continuing about his business down in Virginia, still holding Penn State in his top 2.  Although, since we last spoke, Walker visited, and received an offer from Bo and the Huskers.  By all accounts, the visit went well, so the Huskers may be jumping into the thick of this battle, along with Penn State and Virginia Tech.  You'll also notice that I flipped Nnadi and Keels on the board.  Keels continues to look like a Wisconsin lock, although Alabama has now offered, which may throw things out of whack a little bit.  Nnadi is another guy that now looks possible again, thanks to SANCTION REDUCTIONS (Do you get the theme of this Roundup yet?).

1. Troy Reeder (OLB) (Salesianum (DE)) (Committed 2/26/13, Recruited by Ron Vanderlinden)
2. Brandon Lee (OLB) (Lawrence Central (IN)) (Lead Recruiter: Ron Vanderlinden)
3. Jason Cabinda (OLB) (Hunterdon Central (NJ)) (Currently committed to Syracuse)

Notes: Brandon Lee has named Penn State officially inside his Top 6, and will be making his decision on November 8th (Exactly 21 days before my birthday, start planning your gifts out for me now people.  I like anything Seattle, clothing, and anything else expensive).  From what he told me, Brandon's goal is to get out here for the Michigan game on October 12th, but really any game will do.  He just wants to get a chance to be on campus.  As far as Cabinda, and every other currently committed linebacker that we may offer, an offer from Linebacker U is enough to make them at least notice Penn State.  So we'll see.  But for now, focus on sending positive energy Lee's way.

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)
Still On the Radar: Dravon Henry (CB/S) (Alquippa (PA)) (Lead Recruiter: Charlie Fisher)

Notes: With Dravon Henry making the unfortunate decision to move on to choosing between Pitt and WVU (I said I wouldn't cry...I said I wouldn't cry...), Nicholson remains the big target on the board.  Which is not a bad thing in any way.  Nicholson is a stud athlete, who would be a great fit in the PSU defense.  As of right now, Penn State is still considered a major factor in his decision.  Nicholson had a great outlook on the sanction reductions, citing how O'Brien has done an amazing job so far, and will be able to even further expand on his success with the added flexibility.

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

4. Mike Gesicki

5. Brandon Lee

6. Ricky Walker

7. Alex Bookser

8. Derrick Nnadi

9. Joe Keels

10. Jason Cabinda

11. Dravon Henry (I'm keeping him here until I am literally forced to take him off)

2015 (And Beyond) Recruit Updates

Tommy Hatton (St. Joes (NJ)) (2015) (OL)- Planning on visiting for the Michigan game, can't wait for a PSU offer

Jake Cooper (Archbishop Wood (PA)) (2015) (LB)- Doesn't know when he'll be back again, but he is planning on coming back for another game, was offered by Pitt recently

Richie Petitbon (Gonzaga (DC)) (2015) (OL)- Despite holding offers from national powerhouses such as Alabama and LSU, he still holds Penn State in very high regards, and considers them one of his top options

Other Stuff

If you have a subscription to 247, you can check out this lovely recap of how all the current Penn State commits fared in their high school games this weekend.

And due to popular demand, here is the current Penn State Football Scholarship Matrix!  This post is about to get a lot longer...

Totals 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
QB 2(1) Tyler Ferguson 2* Christian Hackenberg 5* Michael O’Connor 4*
RB 3(2) Bill Belton 4* Akeel Lynch 3* Mark Allen 3*
Zach Zwinak 4* Nick Scott 3*
TE 5 Matt Lehman Kyle Carter 2* Adam Breneman 4*
Jesse James 3* Brent Wilkerson 3*
WR 8(3) Brandon Moseby-Felder 3* Alex Kenney 4* Matt Zanelatto 2* Richy Anderson 3* Troy Apke 3*
Allen Robinson 3* DaeSean Hamilton 3* Chris Godwin 4*
Eugene Lewis 4* De’Andre Thompkins 4*
Jonathan Warner 2*
OL 13(1) Adam Gress 3* Miles Dieffenbach 4* Anthony Alosi 3* Tanner Hartman 2* Noah Beh 3*
Ty Howle 3* Garry Gilliam 2* Angelo Mangiro 3* Wendy Laurent 2*
Eric Shrive 4* Donovan Smith 4* Brendon Mahon 4*
John Urschel 2* Andrew Nelson 3*
DT 6(1) DaQuan Jones 3* Kyle Baublitz 4* Parker Cothren 3* Antoine White 3*
Derek Dowrey 2*
Brian Gaia 3*
Austin Johnson 3*
DE 7 Brad Bars 2* Deion Barnes 4* Curtis Cothran 3*
CJ Olaniyan 4* Anthony Zettel 4* Evan Schwan 2*
Garrett Sickels 4*
LB 6(1) Glenn Carson 4* Mike Hull 4* Ben Kline 3* Brandon Bell 3* Troy Reeder 3*
Nyeem Wartman 3*
Gary Wooten
CB 5(2)
Da'Quan Davis 2* Anthony Smith 2* Troy Vincent 4*
Jordan Lucas 3* Jordan Smith 2* Daquan Worley 3*
Trevor Williams 3*
S 8(1) Stephen Obeng-Agyapong 3* Adrian Amos 3*
Kasey Gaines 2* Marcus Allen 3*
Malcolm Willis 3* Jesse Della Valle
Malik Golden 3*
Ryan Keiser Jake Kiley 2*

K/P 2 Alex Butterworth Sam Ficken 2*
Totals 66(12) 11 14 13 27 12
This chart does NOT include any other run-ons who were granted scholarships for this season, or the full list of other guys who are still using up scholarship spots, because I'm still at school and shouldn't even be doing this right now, so I didn't have time to research all the names.  But this should still give you an idea of how much wiggle room we have with added scholarships available.  Hooray!

It's lovely being back writing about Crootin' for you.  I hope you enjoyed my glorious return to the Roundup stage.  I've been speaking a lot since starting at BSD, about how I can't wait to see O'Brien recruit a full class.  Now, with that dream a mere year away, I can't contain myself.  Things are looking up guys.  Recruiting is going to start getting even more fun than it already was.  Go State.

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