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Committany Nation: New 2016 Predictions and a Lasch Bash Wrap Up

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Precious few spots remain in Penn State's Class of 2016, and Herb Hand grilled meats for recruits and their families

Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports

Class of 2016 Predictions v3.0

You probably noticed there has been a bit of a run in verbal commitments since Nick and I last updated our 2016 class predictions. In fact, the last round of guessing was out of date within about 48 hours as a couple of our calls verbally committed to other programs not too long after hitting "publish". However, with just a few spots left up for grabs, our odds have to go way up, right?

Matt
Nick
Player Position Player Position
Michal Menet OL Michal Menet OL
Miles Sanders
RB
Miles Sanders RB
Shane Simmons DE
Shane Simmons DE
Lavert Hill CB Lavert Hill CB
Ellison Jordan
DT
Ellison Jordan DT
Connor McGovern C
Connor McGovern C
Daniel Joseph
DE
Daniel Joseph DE
Cameron Brown OLB
Cameron Brown OLB
Zechariah McPhearson CB
Zecharian McPhearson CB
Jake Zembiec QB
Jake Zembiec QB
Will Fries OT
Will Fries OT
Danny Dalton TE
Danny Dalton TE
Quinn Nordin K
Quinn Nordin K
Christian Colon DT Christian Colon DT
Alex Gellerstedt OT
Alex Gellerstedt OT
Shake Toney OLB
Shaka Toney OLB
Michael Dwumfour DT
Michael Dwumfour DT
Blake Gillikin P
Blake Gillikin P
Brendan Ferns
ILB
Brendan Ferns ILB
Aaron Hansford
OLB
Aaron Hansford OLB
Karamo Dioubate
DT
Oluwole Betiku DE
Jordan Fuller
ATH
Jordan Fuller ATH
Tre Nixon
WR
Tre Nixon WR

Quick note from Nick on his picks- "Yes, I know they're boring because they're nearly the same as Matt's. There's really nothing that makes any more sense than this, though. It's possible that Phillip Patterson jumps on his offer, or staff is miraculously able to flip a Terrell Hall from Ohio State or a Michael Onwenu from Michigan, but this is simply the ending that makes the most sense. Ferns is likely the next to commit, as his dad had some very interesting comments recently about spots at Penn State starting to fill up. It sounds as though if Ferns is going to choose Penn State over West Virginia, it will happen sooner rather than later. The only difference between our lists are Karamo Dioubate and Oluwole Betiku. Honestly, Dioubate is the far more likely choice, but Betiku is still a possibility in my mind. As long as his recruitment drags out into the season, and he's able to take a visit to Penn State for a big game with LaVar, I think things become a lot tighter with UCLA."

So, why did we cap things at 23? For one, it seems tough to find a scenario right now where PSU finds 25 guys in this class. A year ago, armed with the reduction in scholarships, Franklin and Co. were focused on getting not just more talent, but more bodies into the program. A year later, that is still a priority. However, the NCAA limit of 85 is staring PSU very squarely in the face. As it is, you have to do some searching to figure out how PSU fits not only the 2016 class under that limit, but also the über-talented 2017 class. Guys like Austin Johnson, and Christian Hackenberg could very likely give the NFL a shot, but the rest will have to come from transfers, and likely at least a couple academic juniors foregoing their final year.

As for the list, names like Damar Hamlin, or Oluwole Betiku may jump out as guys missing. While both remain high on PSU's list, it seems unlikely right now that either one ends up a Lion when Signing Day rolls around.

Lasch Bash Recap

The event started by Bill O'Brien seems to reach new heights every year, quickly becoming one of the summer recruiting highlights around the country. Few summer events attract such a deep talent pool as the annual cookout, and this past weekend may have been the best yet. Nearly the entire committed class of 2016 was on campus, as were practically every major target left on PSU's board.

While commitments grab the headlines (and there were two...more on that in a bit), the seeds sown not only for the few remaining 2016 targets, but especially for 2017 (and beyond) are huge. Guys like Jordan Fuller, Tre Nixon, Damar Hamlin, and Aaron Hansford came away raving about the event. Big time 2017 prospects like Paris Ford, David Taylor, Robert Hainsey, and likely 2018 5-star Micah Parsons also enjoyed their weekend. In fact, Parsons told Scout.com he very nearly committed this weekend.

Maryland OLB (and potential DE down the road) Cam Brown lit the first siren of the weekend, announcing his commitment early Saturday morning. Philadelphia's Shaka Toney made his commitment public later that afternoon, although he had told a select few a couple weeks ago he would be a Lion.

Brendan Ferns Update

Brendan is down to his final two, Penn State and West Virginia, just as many suspected after Ohio State was eliminated. Ferns' older brother, Michael, will be in his first year at WVU this fall after transferring from Michigan. The Mountaineers also offer the younger Ferns brother's desired major of petroleum engineering. No timetable for a decision has been announced, but most expect that to come sometime before the season.

Ellison Jordan Talks Commitment

We were able to reach out to Ellison Jordan last week to ask a few questions about his commitment.

What made you decide to commit when you did?

Well it was just that gut feeling about Penn State. The campus there is so beautiful and everything, I felt great there. Academically, it is a world class education that you cannot deny! 88% graduation rates for African Americans is impressive! Athletically, from Coach JoePa to Coach Franklin, the tradition is there! Coach Franklin is a real family person with keeping the team together and that is what I like because with that personality and determination, we'll bring Penn State back!

Ellison isn't sure if he's going to take any other visits before National Signing Day at the moment, but with the way he talks about Penn State, that seems unlikely. He said that he feels a true comfort level at Penn State, and knows it's the place he's supposed to be.

We also asked him about his recruitment and who recruited him (out of the commits).

The main guy was Shane [Simmons]! He was the one talking to be about Penn State and his mom, but I also knew them since middle school, so we had a pretty good relationship.

Ellison isn't targeting anyone specifically yet to recruit himself, but he does stay in touch with former Gilman athlete, Cam Spence (2017 4* OT currently at IMG Academy), to keep Penn State in his mind. Spence recently visited for the Lasch Bash this past weekend.

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That's all for today. Go now, in peace, and recruiting.