Welcome to Black Shoe Diaries' coverage of National Signing Day 2015. We're here to make sure that you know exactly who the newest Nittany Lions are, where they come from, and what we can expect of them. Each of these reports will include their vital information, their high school statistics, highlight tape analysis, outlook for their freshmen seasons and more. We sincerely hope you enjoy getting to know the stars of tomorrow. If you've been reading along with our recruiting coverage all year, we appreciate the support and are glad you hung around with us for the ride that was the 2015 recruiting class. If you are a new reader, welcome! We're glad you're here, and we hope you stick around for 2016!
To navigate your way to other members of the 2015 recruiting class, simply head back to our draft board and click on the player of your choice.
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One thing that Penn State hasn't had for some time is a wide receiver with game changing speed. James Franklin and co. got that in the class of 2015 in Virginia's Brandon Polk. The dynamic Polk is already one of the fastest guys on the team -- as evidenced by his 40-yard dash time -- and makes up one-third of one of the best receiver classes that has ever come through the Nittany Valley.
Special guests from the THON Executive Committee welcome @Sonic_10 to Nittany Nation! #PSUSigningDay pic.twitter.com/knmk1fwXkM— Penn State Football (@PennStateFball) February 4, 2015
Hometown: Ashburn, VA
High School: Briar Woods
Position: Wide Receiver
247Composite Rank: ★★★★ (0.8947)
Positional Rank: #39 Wide Receiver, #13 Player in Virginia
Commitment Date: March 25, 2014
247Sports Crystal Ball:
High School Stats
|Grade||GP||Receptions||Receiving Yards||Yards Per Catch||All-Purpose Yards per Game||Total TD|
The thing that immediately jumps out about Brandon Polk is that he is faaaaaaaaast. He has a 4.36 second 40-yard dash time and he is a state champion in the 100 and 200 meter dashes. One thing that Penn State lacks in its receiving corps is a guy who can take the top off of a defense and get behind safeties with blazing speed, and Polk is able to do that with relative ease. Imagine Christian Hackenberg lobbing deep balls to him, and if you start giggling with excitement, we can't blame you.
Of course, speed is good, but the thing that makes Polk special is that he's an incredibly agile receiver who excels at reading blocks and bursting through holes when they are created by his blockers. Just look at him on screen passes -- which are a favorite of offensive coordinator John Donovan -- he's patient, but when he has some space, he takes advantage of it. He also has good hands and body control, so we won't have to worry about too many maddening drops on screen passes.
While this is all nice, Polk is going to be among the smallest guys on the team. For that reason...
As we saw last year with DeAndre Thompkins, this coaching staff has no problem letting smaller players redshirt for a year to get bigger. This is something that Polk desperately needs. While he may very well be the fastest player on the team the second he steps on campus, he is short at 5'9" and needs to add some weight, as he's only 152 lbs. There's no way that his body would be able to stand up to the punishment that he'd receive in the Big Ten, and as long as he can put on 10-20 lbs. without sacrificing his game-changing speed, that shouldn't be a major issue.
Also, while Polk is fast, there is a chance that working with Dwight Galt can make him faster. Galt is known for making players faster -- just look at what he did last year -- so who knows what can happen once Polk gets into a collegiate strength and conditioning program.
The final thing with Polk is that he's not really needed in 2015. The only wide receiver/tight end that Penn State is losing from the 2014 squad is Jesse James. Just look at the laundry list of receiving talent on next year's team: DaeSean Hamilton, Geno Lewis, Saeed Blacknall, Chris Godwin, Kyle Carter, Mike Gesicki. That doesn't even consider Thompkins or the returning Adam Breneman, nor does it include incoming recruits Juwan Johnson or Irvin Charles. Polk is a bit of a luxury, and since he can use some seasoning, there's no harm in resting him next season.
- Brandon Polk Commits to Penn State
- Brandon Polk's Hudl
- Brandon Polk's MaxPreps
- Brandon Polk's 247 Profile