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Committany Nation: Austrian Robinson and Zembiec Updates, New Offers, and More

I spoke with both Jake Zembiec and Austrian Robinson about their Penn State interest, we break down some of Penn State's latest offers, and so much more in this edition of Committany Nation.

Penn State target and former Michigan commit, Garrett Taylor.
Penn State target and former Michigan commit, Garrett Taylor.

A Top 2016 Target Narrows Things Down

Michal Menet (Reading, PA) is a composite four star offensive tackle in the 2016 class. Not only is he listed as the #64 overall player and #8 offensive tackle for the 2016 cycle, but he is also the early top player in the state of Pennsylvania. Menet is a must get for James Franklin if he is going to continue to prove that #DominateTheState is a priority. Menet has visited Penn State five times over the past year and a half, most recently for the White Out against Ohio State. He holds offers from a plethora of high-powered programs, but has decided to narrow his focus to Duke, Florida State, Michigan State, Ohio State, and Penn State. Menet's Crystal Ball page currently is 100% in favor of Penn State, although with the exception of my pick (which was late because I thought I already did it), they all came before September rolled around.

A 2018 Offer. Yes, a 2018 Offer.

Penn State does not frequently offer freshmen in high school, and for good reason. It's simply too difficult to project what kind of college prospect a kid can be when he is just 15 years old. That being said, last night, the staff extended an offer to 2018 DE Micah Parsons (Central Dauphin, PA).

Upon first look, you can't help but be impressed with Parsons. Though he is just a freshman, he already stands at 6'3" and 215 pounds. Considering how much time he still has to grow, that's pretty amazing. Then, you take a look at his stats through Central Dauphin's first 13 games this season (they play again this Saturday).

Tackles (Solo Tackles) Tackles Per Game TFL Sacks INT PD FF Blocked Kicks
113 (40) 8.7 26 17.5 1 3 2 2

Read through those stats again. Those would be unbelievable numbers for a four year starter senior outside linebacker. Yet, these are the statistics of a freshman playing his very first season of high school football, as a defensive end. Micah did tell me that he saw some time as a blitzing middle linebacker as well, so these stats weren't solely from that defensive end spot, but still. Parsons doesn't have many highlights available for viewing just yet, but there are a few you can check out below, courtesy of Hudl.

You can see the great burst off the line he already has. Truly impressive stuff for a kid his age.

It's farrrrrr too early to say what kind of chances Penn State has here, but being the first ones to offer along with being in his home state can't hurt the Lions chances. I'll have plenty more on Parsons for you in the coming years (boy that sounds weird).

A Top Remaining Target Coming to Visit

Four star CB Garrett Taylor (Richmond, VA) will finally make his visit to State College this weekend for the Michigan State game. The highly touted cornerback has been one of Penn State's top targets following his decommitment from Michigan. He publicly stated recently that his top two schools were LSU and Penn State, and was able to take a visit to LSU earlier in the month. He also visited Ohio State last weekend, but with the lack of flexibility with their scholarships, the Buckeyes seem an unlikely destination. It did sound like Taylor had a great time in Baton Rouge, though, and many see them as the leader at this point. There is, however, something to be said about the fact that Penn State was named by Taylor as a finalist prior to a visit.

It will be up to the staff and the other commits at the game to make it a memorable experience for Taylor. With the game falling just two days after Thanksgiving, and spirits not being particularly high amongst the Penn State faithful at the moment, it likely won't be one that Taylor will remember for the crowd. Another year of Penn State playing their best football in the final home game of the season would not only go a long way towards their bowl preparations, but towards their recruiting efforts as well.

Austrian Robinson Update

I spoke with Robinson last week about his new Penn State offer and about his recruitment. He told me that the schools that are sticking out to him at this point are Ole Miss, Penn State, Maryland, Miami, UCF, Kansas, and Temple. He also mentioned that he's been hearing from Ohio State coaches as well. He added that Maryland, UCF, and Miami are the schools who have been talking to him with the most frequency at this point.

His thoughts on the Penn State offer- "I was real glad to get it. I started talking to them last spring, so we've kept in contact. They told me it wouldn't be right away and to stay with it. They kept talking me, and I finally got it."

Robinson will also be in State College this weekend checking out Beaver Stadium (for an unofficial visit). He told me he's looking to get a feel for the atmosphere, as well as what the relationships between the players look like, both on and off the field. He is also interested in seeing how the coaches react to various situations on the field during the game.

He said that he is looking to commit directly after his last official visit, and will sit down with his high school coach and his mother to do so.

I'll have more Robinson and his experience at the game next week.

An Update on a Great Person! Jake Zembiec!

Jake made some waves in his recruitment recently. Last time we Committany Nation'd, we talked about his twitter adventure in which he sent a tweet out stating that he was going to make a big announcement, only to delete the tweet later on. I was able to catch up with Jake to talk about what his current status is.

The consensus opinion in the recruiting industry on Zembiec is that he has a top two of Penn State and Michigan State, so I asked him about that. "Yeah, I mean, it's kind of been put that way by different reporters, but those are definitely my two favorites. I really am still open to a lot of other colleges, it's still kind of early in my process. A lot of things can change, but right now those are my two favorites."

He also gave me his thoughts on what he likes about both Michigan State and Penn State at this point in time.

MSU- "There's something about the way the players were before the game. They just carry themselves so confidently, intimidating...they just have a lot of swag, is the only way I can put it. I really like watching their offense, it was everything I expected and everything I love about them. They mix it up between run and pass, they take shots downfield. The defense struggled a little that night against Ohio State unfortunately, but they're usually pretty great. It was just an awesome experience with, I think it was 70,000 fans? So it was pretty good.

PSU- "Just to compare, Penn State always brings so much energy. The big thing behind Penn State is the tradition and it really doesn't matter who they're playing, they fill that stadium. It gets roaring from start to finish, that was one thing I really liked when I went to the Northwestern game. Penn State, they got beat pretty bad, but from start to finish, the student section, the whole stadium was going nuts. It was great to see how much everyone really cared about the program and was so supportive. That alumni tradition is a true, big thing."

Zembiec will also be at Penn State this weekend, so I asked him if he purposely chose to come to this game to get a chance to see both teams play.

"Well I definitely think it's cool to see both of them play, but it's another home game at Penn State, and I really just love getting down there to be around the coaches and be around the facilities, and just the Penn State environment. But I'll be watching both teams, and see how the Michigan State players carry themselves when they're playing on the road. I'll obviously be keeping a close eye on Penn State, too. At least I know I'll see one of my teams win this game!"

(Zembiec has been to two college football games. Northwestern's drubbing of Penn State, and Ohio State's smack down on Michigan State.)

Zembiec is one of Penn State's top targets at quarterback for the 2016 class, so this weekend will be a big chance for the staff to impress him once again.

More News and Notes

  • Three star Pittsburgh S/WR John Petrishen was also offered by Penn State. John currently holds offers from 33 schools, the most high profile being Penn State, Pitt, Virginia, Syracuse, West Virginia, and Temple.
  • One of Penn State's most important remaining 2015 targets, four star DT Christian Wilkins (Suffield Academy) took a visit to Clemson last weekend. Rivals talked to him about it, here.
  • Penn State will also be receiving a visit this weekend from OT Paris Palmer (Plymouth, NC). Palmer is a 6'8", 305 pound beast, and a JuCo transfer out of Lackawanna C.C. The composite three star recruit is currently committed to South Carolina.
  • Finally, in a bit of sad news, former Penn State recruiting target and Bishop McDevitt alum, Noah Spence, has been ruled permanently ineligible by the Big Ten. He certainly had his problems off the field with drugs and injuries, and it's always tough to see guys with so much potential do things to potentially ruin their futures. This isn't the time to make remarks like "Should have gone to Penn State" or "This never would have happened if he came here". Instead, allow this to serve as a reminder of how far someone can fall when they make the wrong choices, despite how much they have to gain.

That's all for now. Sorry about the lack of recruiting updates this week, but I have been quite busy working on something big as part of the re-vamping and reimagining of the State of the Union, Big Ten Recruiting Roundup feature that we've had in the past. Hopefully I will have worked everything out for it by next week, and it will be ready to post. Aside from that, go to the game on Saturday and be loud. Show the recruits that Thanksgiving doesn't deter Penn State fans (even though it does).