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Committany Nation: Recruiting Mailbag — July

Koerbler’s Korner? Pat’s Pad? What douchey name do I give this thing?

NCAA Football: Rose Bowl Game-Penn State vs Southern California Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

Q: How many scholarships do we have available for this cycle? -Blumski13

Staffer Andy Frank said last February that Penn State would have “somewhere close” to a 25-member class in 2018, and despite already being over the 85 scholarship player limit, Penn State seems poised to take a full class. Could the Nittany Lions take more than that? Well, that would be a judgment call. I think 25 is working number, but nothing is set in stone in July.

Q: Where we may have choices, which way do things shake out?

1. Hawkins OR 2. Mustipher

1. Oweh OR 2. Parsons

1. Bradley OR 2. Walker

Also, is it safe to assume that Enis’ window has closed? Lamb too? -Kijana’s ACL

I’ll answer this as which one of the options I’m more confident ending up in the class:

  • Aeneas Hawkins (Wouldn’t have thought such two weeks ago)
  • Jayson Oweh
  • Rasheed Walker

That being said, I think Hawkins, Mustipher, Walker, and Bradley are all more likely than Parsons and Oweh. Believe both defensive ends will end up playing for Larry Johnson Sr, though the Nittany Lions are putting up a heck of a fight for Oweh.

As for Solomon Enis, I definitely don’t think the window has closed there yet. Penn State will have a decision to make with Jahan Dotson and Enis, but both currently have the green light.

And lastly, yes, Penn State is out of the running for Jack Lamb. He announced that UCLA and Notre Dame are his final two. Disappointing that a legacy lost interest so quickly, but it’s pretty clear he wants to stay West. Would be stunned to see him anywhere but UCLA.

Q: How many true DT's do we take this cycle? -Lamgol

We talk a lot about how Penn State likes defensive back recruits with positional versatility — Amani Oruwariye, Nick Scott, Garrett Taylor, T.J. Johnson, Tariq Castro-Fields, and Jordan Miner all have either played both cornerback and safety, or offer the versatility to do so. Along that same line of thinking, you’re seeing the same thing on the defensive line. Guys that are defensive ends in high school that have the potential to play at a couple different spots on the defensive line. Dorian Hardy can play both spots. Same with Tyreke Smith, Tyler Friday, and Marcellus Earlington. Even Nick Tarburton might have the frame to move inside at some point.

To answer your question though, I think Penn State would be willing to take three “true” defensive tackles — i.e., guys who could only play defensive tackle at the next level. Judge Culpepper is one, and I think they’d take both P.J. Mustipher and Aeneas Hawkins. As things currently stand, this doesn’t seem to be an either or situation. The Nittany Lions seem focused on just getting the best available defensive linemen, regardless of position.

Q: Do you think our staff has given up on Parsons? -Lamgol

I definitely don’t think they’ve given up, but the writing is on the wall that it’s going to take a lot to pull him away from Ohio State. I mean, Parsons has visited Happy Valley almost 15 times in the last three years, so it’s not like he doesn’t know what Penn State has to offer. I think another strong season from the Nittany Lions (one where Penn State wins the Big Ten again) could change his perception of the program. But even then, I don’t think that will make much of a difference. Believe his eyes and heart are set on being a Buckeye.

Q: Why did we take a kicker? -JetSkiJoe

I would imagine that Alex Barbir’s play (or lack thereof) had a part here. With spots being so limited, I think the fact that they were willing to use one on a kicker this early just goes to show that Jake Pinegar is severely needed.

Q: Rumor is Antonio Alfano is "no longer with the team" at Bergen Catholic. Any ideas what happened and/or where he is transferring? Is he still a 2019 target for us? -UPSUPhilly

Yup, there was an article on last week that confirmed that Antonio Alfano is no longer with the team. Can’t say I have any idea what happened, but getting removed from a North Jersey football factory isn’t a great sign. We’ll see what happens moving forward.

Q: When and who is the first 2019 commit? -PhillynCityTID

This is the longest Franklin has gone without a commitment in the impending class, so one should be coming shortly enough. One of the big reasons for the lack of 2019 movement so far can be attributed to Pennsylvania’s crop in 2019. It’s down year for the state, with State College native Keaton Ellis being the only PA prospect with an offer from Penn State thus far.

I’d look for one of three New Jersey guys to make the call for Penn State first — QB Taquan Roberson, OL Caedan Wallace, or CB Nyquee Hawkins. Roberson just landed an offer from the Nittany Lions, and with the way quarterback recruiting is sped up, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him jump onboard before his junior season starts, or shortly thereafter.

Q: Where would you take your five official visits, knowing that we wanted to go to Penn State, but wanted to travel on somebody’s dime? -Gerry Dincher

I think like the vast majority of recruits, I’d take my visits seriously. Outside of Reuben Foster visting San Diego State, just about every recruit doesn’t take a visit to just go somewhere warm. As a 17 or 18 year old, there’s plenty of fun to be had in any college town, whether it’s in Iowa or California.

As for my official visits — outside of Penn State — they’d probably be:

Notre Dame: I’m Irish and Catholic. That being said, this is a good time to remind you guys that Notre Dame went 4-8 in 2016. Again, that’s only four wins compared to eight losses. No bowl game, either.

Michigan: Here’s my view on Michigan: I don’t really hate them. I realize this sounds crazy, but I’m only 23, and to be honest, they’ve kind of sucked during my fandom time frame. They’re greatest accomplishment in the last decade is losing in the JV Big Ten East Championship Game last year. Plus, I visited Ann Arbor for the 2014 game, and didn’t think she was a whore. Actually thought it was a cool college town.

Wisconsin: I know it’s cold and stuff, but Madison might be the best college town outside of State College. Good experience with their fans at the Big Ten Championship, too.

Georgia: I don’t think I could live in the south, but I have to take a trip for the quintessential SEC experience.

Clemson: Dabo is awesome. I like blonde southern belles. I think there’s some lakes there.