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Committany Nation (1.23.15): A Big Weekend, New Rankings, and More

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We're coming down to the wire, with National Signing Day a mere few weeks away. What can Penn State do to fill out their class?

2016 DE Shareef Miller (Philadelphia, PA)
2016 DE Shareef Miller (Philadelphia, PA)

This week's news is highlighted by what will be the biggest recruiting weekend for Penn State since the Ohio State game. We also have some featured articles from other sites about the incoming 2015 class, as well as updates on where our Penn State commits fall on the new versions of 247 and Rivals rankings.

Everybody's Workin' for the Weekend

James Franklin and the staff have been planning out this weekend for some time now, and it has come together quite nicely. Not only will the entire class of committed 2015 recruits be on hand (nearly all for their official visits), but they will have some of their most important remaining targets as well. Let's take a look at who will be on hand. I'll also give you my opinion on what the percentage chances are on gaining a commitment from each uncommitted visitor. The percentages are NOT based on the likelihood of them committing this weekend, rather just committing in general.

Johnny Petrishen (Central Catholic, Pittsburgh, PA) (S)

Petrishen's recruitment has kicked into high gear over the last few months, and is one of the hottest names on the Nittany Lions' board. The revoking of Myles Hartsfield's scholarship due to hazing allegations, combined with Jordan Whitehead's decision to commit to Pitt have left Penn State in position to take another defensive back in the class. Petrishen's final three have been narrowed down to Penn State, Pitt, and Virginia (in no order). Penn State would love to do everything possible to gain his commitment this weekend, to keep him from visiting his other leaders anymore and making things more complicated.

Commitment Probability: 75%

Shareef Miller (George Washington, Philadelphia, PA) (DE)

Miller has been a longtime target for the Nittany Lions. After appearing to be a virtual lock as early as before the summer began, the word was that Penn State backed off due to academic issues, combined with the limited scholarships. Once those were restored, and Miller showed that he could fulfill the necessary requirements to qualify at Penn State, he became a prime target once again. Before January 8th, this could have been the easiest pick left for Penn State. On that day however, he received a very enticing scholarship offer from the Florida Gators. The Gators appear to be Penn State's primary competition for Miller at this point in the game, so leaving a fantastic impression on him this weekend is of vital importance. Miller be taking his official visit to Miami next weekend, who also remain very much in play. In the end, no matter where else Miller visits, Franklin and the staff need to make sure that he's still thinking about Happy Valley when all is said and done.

Commitment Probability: 75%

Robert Windsor (Fond Du Lac, WI) (DT)

Windsor picked up his offer from Penn State on January 5th, as part of the staff's effort to rebound after losing out on five star defensive tackle, Christian Wilkins (who shocked the recruiting world by choosing Clemson). Immediately after offering, Windsor was already in the process of setting up his official visit, and the Nittany Lions were officially considered the favorites to land his services. Things hit a bit of a snag last weekend though, when the Wisconsin Badgers offered him a spot on the team. Windsor is from Wisconsin, and grew up rooting for the Badgers. Windsor will be visiting Madison next weekend, so this is yet another player for which Penn State can't afford anything but an absolutely pristine visit. Aside from Rutgers commit Kamaal Seymour (who will likely visit next weekend), Penn State doesn't have many options left at defensive tackle for the 2015 class. Windsor's commitment would go a long way towards keeping the depth chart evened out among graduation years. I still like Penn State's chances, but only by barely more than a coin flip.

Commitment Probability: 55%

Nick Bowers (Kittanning, PA) (TE)

Nick's commitment has gone back and forth quite a bit between Penn State and Pitt's for some time now. Naturally, while Pitt was without a head coach, things were looking very promising for the Nittany Lions. The addition of Bowers, along with the position switch of Jonathan Holland from DE to TE, could have put Penn State in a very good spot at tight end for the coming years. As things stand now, Bowers is likely to stick with the Panthers, after a very good visit with new head coach Pat Narduzzi. It will likely take a herculean effort on Penn State's part to add Bowers to the class at this point, but a herculean effort can certainly be accomplished by this coaching staff, especially with the entire committed class of 2015 on hand to help out.

Commitment Probability: 30%

Rivals Makes New Rivals, Bumps Down PSU Commits

Rivals released their final class of 2015 rankings a few days ago, and they were not kind to the Nittany Lions. All six of the players that were previously in the Top 250 received a downgrade in the final edition of the rankings. Penn State's commits in the final list, along with their spot on the list, follow below.

  • Garrett Taylor (CB) - #108
  • Saquon Barkley (RB) - #117
  • Juwan Johnson (WR) - #152
  • John Reid (CB) - #162
  • Ryan Bates (OL) - #198
  • Ryan Buchholz (DE) - #222
  • Sterling Jenkins (OT) - NR
While all of these players may have been bumped down, it doesn't change the outlook on any of them. Taylor and Reid are two of the top corners in the country, and create arguably one of the best committed corner duos in the entire country for 2015. Saquon Barkley is a fantastic blend of speed, power, elusiveness and power, and will give Penn State one of their best running back prospects since Silas Redd. Juwan Johnson is a freak of nature. He's tall, he's strong, he's fast, and as I've said before, he'll have Penn State fans thinking they have their very own Calvin Johnson on the field before too long. Ryan Bates is a dominating run blocker with the potential to be a three year starter at guard for the Lions. Ryan Buchholz turned a lot of heads with his outstanding senior year film, and even received a bump from the 247Sports rankings, jumping to a 93 overall and a four star rating. Sterling Jenkins' drop is disappointing, but doesn't mean anything in the end. Sterling is still very raw as a prospect, but there was a reason he was so sought-after and was invited to the Under Armour All America game. With the right coaching, he could turn out to be the best offensive lineman in the entire class of 2015.

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