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Committany Nation: White Out Fallout and More

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Recruits react to the Whiteout, a top target decommits, a new top three emerges for one, and more!

From left to right, Sterling Jenkins, Tommy Stevens, Coach Franklin, and Matthew Burrell
From left to right, Sterling Jenkins, Tommy Stevens, Coach Franklin, and Matthew Burrell

Too much good information to get to today. No time for silly introduction paragraphs that don't actually give you any information.

Reactions from the White Out

  • Commit Juwan Johnson (2015 WR): "It was crazy. First off the fans were bananas, and I didn't witness anything like it. It was something I'd never seen before...I can't wait to strap up in PSU gear for the first time...It was a great atmosphere."
  • Commit Andre Robinson (2015 RB): "The game was awesome. The environment and atmosphere were unbelievable. PSU put up a good fight against a really good team. It's hard to compete with teams who have almost twice as many scholarship players on their team, but I thought they played well for the circumstances. I love coach Franklin and those guys, and I really believe in what they're doing up there."
  • Commit Ryan Buchholz (2015 DE): "That was insane...The players were really hype and ready to go so it got me all excited."
  • Commit Jon Holland (2015 TE/DE): "Loved it. It was a great game. PSU played really well, amazing atmosphere too. [On meeting Ryan Lochte] It was dope, I didn't even see him at first until I accidentally bumped into him haha. He's really chill."
  • In case you missed it, I posted my interview quotes and overall thoughts from Tommy Stevens following his official visit earlier in the week.
  • My interview with commit Sterling Jenkins (2015 OT) posted today, and my interview with target Emanuel McGirt (2015 OT) will post tomorrow, as well. So be sure to check those out when you get the chance.

Another Piece Falls Out of the Jenga Tower

The first signal that Michigan's poor season on the field and likely future divorce with head coach Brady Hoke was affecting the 2015 recruiting class, was the flip of four star defensive end Darian Roseboro from the Wolverines to the NC State Wolfpack.

Now, they've lost another one. Penn State target and Richmond, Virginia native, four star cornerback Garrett Taylor, has officially decommitted from Michigan. It's not surprising news, as Taylor's desire to look elsewhere has been common knowledge for a few weeks now, but it's an interesting move nonetheless. Now that Taylor has made his split from Hoke's squad a reality, his recruitment will likely ramp up even more. Right now, he has official visits scheduled at Ohio State (Novemeber 22) and Penn State (November 29). In other words, Penn State will be his last official visit. With the news that Juwan Briscoe has had a change of heart and now seems set on fulfilling his Clemson commitment, Taylor is really the only serious cornerback recruit on the table at the moment. Franklin and the staff seem primed to give him the full court press, so this is a developing story for sure. Penn State would love to add another four star talent to pair with John Reid, and continue to shape the future of this potential-laden secondary.

New Top Three for a Top Target

In the wake of his official visit that took place this past weekend, 2015 four star offensive tackle Matthew Burrell, has named a new top three.

The top three is said to be in no order, and is slightly different than his previously reported top three. Tennessee and Ohio  State both remain in the running, but Penn State replaced Florida State. Throughout the process, Burrell has been known to change his top schools often, usually following visits to said schools. It appears that things may be different this time though, as he followed up his new top three with this tweet.

From my conversations with the members of the 2015 class after this weekend, it became clear that they were all told to focus their attention on the recruitment of Burrell and QB Tommy Stevens. When the team was running onto the field before the game, Franklin even took a second before leading them out to give Burrell a hug. Those kinds of things can be really impactful on these high school kids. I asked those same recruits how they felt about Penn State's chances for picking up Burrell and Stevens.

Andre Robinson: "I feel like we stand pretty well with both of them. Time will tell, but I think this weekend was a very good experience for them."

Ryan Buchholz: "I know they both loved it...I know Franklin is in both of their heads cause they know we need them."

Jon Holland: "[Burrell and Stevens] loved it...they were really cool, we had a great time."

An Important Visitor this Weekend

2016 four star QB Dwayne Haskins will be at Penn State this weekend to watch the Nittany Lions take on the Terps. Haskins is teammates with 2015 commit Jon Holland. We've talked about their relationship before on this site, but it's worth mentioning again that the two are close and seem to be interested in continuing their playing days together in college. Holland offered the following quotes on Haskins to me a few weeks ago.

[Find the full interview here]

Since you mentioned him, let's talk about Dwayne Haskins. It's no secret you've been recruiting him for Penn State, how are you feeling about his position in regards to the Nittany Lions?

It's early, Dwayne is still a junior right now. But he told me that he's narrowing down his decision, and right now Penn State is number one after they offered him a couple weeks ago. So I'm just staying on him, Dwayne knows how I feel about him and I believe he's Penn State for several reasons. The coaching staff and the players that we have already, and the players that we're getting in, I feel like they'd all be great assets for Dwayne if he comes in to play, and hopefully potentially play early. I know it would be a great place for him to end up and also he's be a real weapon to have after I get there and our whole recruiting class gets there. I'll stay on him about Penn State, I mean he never hears enough of it. I feel like he knows where he's going to go, it's just a matter of time so I'll stay on him. Right now it's between Penn State and I think Ohio State, but I know we'll be able to get him, no doubt in my mind.

Does the idea of potentially playing with Haskins again in college help push you towards wanting to play tight end?

I would say so, if you can see from the tape I put out there, Dwayne can really throw the ball. Having that type of chemistry with a player in high school and having that transfer over to college would be great for me personally, and great for our receivers and tight ends also that are gonna be at Penn State. After he committed, he would be able to reel in more people in the 2016 class. So it would be great for Dwayne to come for a lot of reasons, but I would say that's one of them. I didn't get many passes last year at tight end, but towards the end of the season, I started getting more passes thrown at me. I believe that's why I'm getting more [passes] thrown at me this season, because I was able to do great things with the ball in my hand last season. So I feel like I have some solid film right now and hopefully the plays will keep coming and I'll move into college playing tight end.

[I mentioned the well-run chip block plays in his tape and commented on the apparent chemistry between he and Haskins.]

Yeah, that's just something we've worked on in our 7 on 7. Stuff like that, people see the tape and think it's a nice play, but when you've done it so many times in practice and stuff in the season, it really just becomes muscle memory. It's great, like I said, having him on the team, he makes a lot of our players better. So hopefully that will carry over to college and that will make his college team better wherever he decides to go.

This visit will be very telling for Haskins, as it is shaping up to be a race of sorts between the 2016 QB targets over who will commit first. All three of Brandon McIlwaine, Haskins, and Jake Zembiec would likely deny wanting to rush their decisions based on the actions of another quarterback, they all surely know that the others are lurking. Things could get very interesting for Penn State's 2016 class, very soon.

Finally, if you're in to these sorts of things on twitter, Dwayne Haskins recently retweeted this Matt Burrell tweet from September, so take that for what it's worth.

That's all for today. Keep calm and recruit on.