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Committany Nation: Heartache on the Recruiting Trail and Lasch Bash Preview

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Penn State will look to change its luck on the recruiting trail with a number of high-level prospects visiting Happy Valley this weekend.

Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome back to Committany Nation! As Eli stated last week, we'll be taking over the recruiting coverage here at BSD. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to tweet at Eli (@misdreavus79) or myself (@PatKoerbler).

Recruiting Isn't Fun: Penn State Strikes Out On Trio

It wouldn't be a 2017 recruiting update without some bad news. And it wouldn't be bad news on the Penn State recruiting front if it didn't involve Notre Dame. The Nittany Lions went 0-for-3 this past week, missing out on tight end Matt Dotson to Michigan State, and wide receiver C.J. Holmes and offensive lineman Robert Hainsey to the Fighting Irish. It's a tough break for James Franklin and company, who certainly led for Dotson and Hainsey at one time or another, and were one of the favorites for Holmes before Notre Dame offered.

Lasch Bash Preview

Perhaps after Junior Day in February, there isn't a more pivotal recruiting event for Penn State than the annual Lasch Bash. And with the Nittany Lions in a funk on the recruiting trail in recent months, this year's Bash could swing some much needed momentum back in Penn State's favor. Although the list is certainly subject to change, let's take a look at who's onboard for the upcoming weekend.

2017 Commits

QB Sean Clifford

OL C.J. Thorpe

OL Michael Miranda

OL Robert Martin

DE Damion Barber

LB Dylan Rivers

CB D.J. Brown

2017 Key Targets

WR Danny Davis

WR Mac Hippenhammer

WR Sean Savoy

WR Cameron Sullivan-Brown

DE Olalere Oladipo

LB Brelin Faison-Walden

LB Brailyn Franklin

DB Scott Nelson

DB Derek Pitts

CB Tariq Castro-Fields

CB Donovan Johnson

CB Lamont Wade

2018 Key Targets

DE Micah Parsons (COMMIT)

RB Ricky Slade

WR Shaquon Anderson-Butts

TE Kyle Pitts

DE Dorian Hardy

DT P.J. Mustipher

DB Isaiah Humphries

DB Kwantel Raines

CB Kalon Gervin

Other than the lack of 2017 defensive tackles visiting, it's an impressive list that focuses on the other three major areas of need -- wide receiver, linebacker, and the defensive backfield.

So as always is the question, who is on commitment watch? At this point, there's no obvious name sticking out as someone who's expected to verbal. But I'd be surprised if the Nittany Lions ended the weekend without at least one commitment, specifically at the wide receiver position. While Penn State has yet to land a wide receiver in this recruiting class, it'll only take one to get the ball rolling. Danny Davis, Cameron Sullivan-Brown, and Mac Hippenhammer all could conceivably pull the trigger, with Davis and Sullivan-Brown probably more likely than Hippenhammer who could be leaning towards recently offered Michigan State.

Cornerback is another spot where moves could be made. Both Donovan Johnson and Lamont Wade reportedly have the Nittany Lions on top, but I'd be surprised if either committed this weekend. Wade has said from the beginning that he wants to take official visits, and that his recruitment will go the distance. And while Johnson may be the more likely candidate to jump on board, there's rumblings he might be waiting to see if one of the in-state schools will offer.

And lastly, there's linebacker. Brailyn Franklin will be back up in Happy Valley for the first time since receiving a Penn State offer, and obviously it's not out of the realm of possibility that he jumps onboard. Pairing Franklin with current commit Dylan Rivers would be a solid duo for a Nittany Lions defense that is yearning for linebacker help.

With the way recruiting has been going, it's difficult to be too optimistic even if positive signs are there. Let's say the line for commitments this weekend is at 1.5.

Friday Night Lights in Beaver Stadium

Along with the Lasch Bash, Penn State will also be hosting a camp in Beaver Stadium Friday night. "FNL" camps aren't all that uncommon, with Urban Meyer hosting a similar event at Florida and now Ohio State. Really, it's surprising that it took Franklin this long to start a camp like this. And while this year's camp isn't heavy on notable names, expect this camp to be Penn State's premier camp going forward.

Of the recruits taking part Friday night, there are three notables name who could land offers -- tight end Reese Leitao, jumbo athlete Desmond Holmes, and safety Ben Stewart. Leitao, an Oklahoma native, probably has the best chance of receiving an offer in the aftermath of Dotson spurning the Nittany Lions. Although he isn't quite at the level Dotson is, Leitao holds offers from Duke, Houston, Kansas State, and Nebraska, among others.