Coach O’Brien and his staff are off to a great start with the 2014 recruiting class. The class, which has a limit of 15 commitments due to NCAA sanctions, currently sits at 9 players. However, some of these players will enroll early and count toward the 2013 class freeing up a few more spaces in this class.
|WR Troy Apke.|
This class is highlighted this far by a trio of 4 star recruits in the form of defensive back Marcus Allen, and WRs Troy Apke and Chris Godwin. Penn State has also done a good job of targeting two of their biggest positions of need so far in this class, those two positions are linebacker and defensive back. So far the Nittany Lions have added a pair of linebackers in Troy Reeder, and their latest commit, Jake Wangler. Reeder hails from Delaware, and Wangler from Michigan. Both are 3 star recruits, even though I feel Reeder is very underrated and one of the better linebackers in this year’s class. The Nittany Lions have also added a pair of DBs in safety Marcus Allen and CB Daquan Worley. Allen is a huge get for the Nittany Lions as he is undoubtedly one of the top 20 defensive backs in this year’s class. Penn State may also be getting another huge boost in the secondary as they are one of the 3 favorites, along with Michigan and Stanford, to land the nation’s top CB New Jersey native Jabrill Peppers. Penn State also appears to be the front runner to land 4 star DB Troy Vincent Jr., the son of the former NFL All-Pro safety. Vincent’s decision on where he will play college football should be known within the next week or so.
However there are still two big areas of need Penn State needs to address, defensive line and offensive line. Now defensive line is a much bigger need right now than offensive line. But this class that currently consist of 3 WRs, 2 DBs, 2 LBs, and 2 RBs has neither of both. Penn State has 6 spots left to fill in this class, and will add 3 or 4 linemen, at least, between the offensive and defensive sides of the ball. Penn State remains hot on the trail of Nashville, Tennessee, offensive tackle Alex Bars, the brother of current Nittany Lion Brad Bars. Also Alexandria, Virginia, native 3 star DT Jeremiah Clarke recently named Penn State as one of his finalists. The Nittany Lions also appear to be well on their way to landing Scranton native defensive end Noah Beh. There is also JUCO offensive tackle Jermaine Eluemunor, who is arguably the top JUCO player in this year’s class, who Penn State is hot on the trails of. In the end the Nittany Lions will add 4 or 5 linemen in this class, and just a question of who.
One thing this class already has a ton of is offensive weapons for Christian Hackenberg to play with in the coming years. Along with Apke and Godwin there is also a pair of extremely talented running backs in Nick Scott and Mark Allen, even though Scott could possibly end up at slot receiver. There is also athlete De’Andre Thompkins, who will almost assuredly end up at WR. Thompkis is very fast and very quick in the open field, and is someone that is very good at making tacklers miss. He will be a great addition to the offense in a few years.
Bill O’Brien and his staff continue to do a great job of recruiting despite NCAA sanctions. Last year they pulled in a top 30 recruiting class, and appear to be well on their way to doing so again. This year’s class currently sits 11th nationally according to Scout, 14th according to 24/7 Sports, and also 14th according to our good friends over at ESPN. You pair good recruiting classes with top notch coaching like the Nittany Lions have, and you’re going to have a very successful program. I cannot wait to see both these players in Nittany Lion uniforms, but also how well this staff can/will recruit once the sanctions are over.
Only 110 days until the Nittany Lions travel to the Meadow Lands to take on Syracuse in the season opener…..WE ARE!