First off, news on RBs Allan Wasonga and Tre Mason. Allan Wasonga has spoken to the staff, and will be visiting for the Michigan game. If you remember, the PSU staff kind of shied away from Wasonga, but things have picked up again. Expect him to verbally commit at the Michigan game, or a few days after the game. Now, Tre Mason has named his top two. Those two schools being Ole Miss and West Virginia. Penn State still in the mix, but probably third. He still wants to visit, and is trying to get up for the Michigan game. More on the Michigan game later. Anyway, I think we only need one RB this class. I like Mason more, but Wasonga is pretty damn good himself.
Ishaq Williams [DE from NY], probably our highest rated recruit, plans on visiting for the Michigan game. Not 100% sure of that yet, but a very good shot he is at that game. Top 3 remains PSU, ND, and Bama. According to him, no particular order, but most insiders think that is the order they are in.
Here is who I have heard will visit for the Michigan game…
Jordan Kerner (commit)
Angelo Mangiro (commit)
Allan Wasonga (Likely to commit there or soon after)
Donovan Smith (Same as Wasonga)
*Anthony Zettel (DT from Michigan…trying to get to this game)
Doran Grant (4-Star DB from Ohio…recently named OSU and MSU his leaders…very good chance he ends up there)
Anthony Wallace (4-Star LB from Texas…PSU has as good of shot as any)
Allen Robinson (3-Star WR from Bolden’s high school…highly likely to get an offer, and commit)
Tyler Alt (2012 DT/OG…PSU is very good shape)
JP Holtz (2012 TE/DE/LB…don’t know a whole lot about him, yet)
*Rushel Shell (2012 RB…big time recruit…more on him at a later time)
*Tommy Schutt (2012 DT…more on him later)
*Armani Reeves (2012 ATH…PSU looking good thus far)
Greg Garmon (2012 RB/WR/DB…PSU looking very good)
Chris Muller (2012 OT…not sure where PSU stands)
I’m sure others will pop up as well. Darius Jennings and Darian Cooper could very well end up visiting for this game as well. Not to mention, Kyle Carter (commit) could be making his way down. I’m sure Kerner and Mangiro (Possibly Smith, Robinson, and Wasonga) will be working everyone there…bottom line, it will be a huge weekend for recruiting.
I’m very excited about 2012. So many guys in the early going, really like us. Now, the 2011 class didn’t happen like it could have. Reason? No one knows the whole story. One thing for sure though, we were very selective, and got some offers out late, which hurt our standing with kids. I can tell you though, we seem to be contacting a lot more kids for 2012 than we did for 2011. So as long as we get the offers out early, we’ll get some kids to commit, and that starts the snowball effect…really gets things rolling.
Two WRs really like PSU. Eugene Lewis [6'2 185 WR from PA] and Eli Harold [6'4 215 WR from VA]. Lewis has mentioned that PSU was his favorite team growing up, and that he wants to stay close to home. Will probably visit for the MSU game. Harold has said PSU is a “heavy favorite”. He was actually being looked at as a DE a few months ago, but he is showing he can play WR at the college level. PSU has a very good shot at both.
Tommy Schutt [6'3 300 DT from Illinois] has said Penn State is his “dream school”. Also, his base name for his email is “pennstate”…PSU is sitting VERY WELL here. Better than I thought. Here is the thing about this 2012 class, we didn’t have these recruits come out early and say PSU was their dream school. That is what helped 2010 so much. Mike Hull and Silas Redd were huge PSU fans, and pretty much said that is where I’m going to school. They helped very much with that class. The PSU staff did a superb job as well, but those guys have a connection with the recruits that coaches can’t have. Silas Redd was a huge reason Khairi Fortt started looking at Penn State. Now look, Khairi Fortt could start at OLB vs Illinois as a true freshman. In recruiting, it’s these things that are important…
-Having those commits talk to other recruits
All are important. The Pitt class right now is VERY close…a huge reason why they are having a pretty good class. For 2012, guys like Sean Henigin [OT from PA], Ralph Reeves [LB from PA], Kyle Kerrick [WR from PA], and now Tommy Schutt have said Penn State is their dream school. Only three recruits, I remember, named Penn State their dream school for 2011…Marquise Wright (Pitt commit), Kyshoen Jarrett (Pitt commit), and Angelo Mangiro. We backed off Wright towards the end, and we didn’t offer Jarrett until June. So 2012 is shaping up to be a much better class. Not to mention, 2011 was very weak class in our area. While next year, PA (and the rest of our region) looks very strong.
Enough of 2012 for now. Instead, next week I’ll have a list of 2012 recruits. Kind of how I did for my first article with 2011.
Now, Penn State vs Iowa was tough to watch. We had our chances, down inside the 5 twice. Only got 3 points out of it. I think people have been overreacting, like usual. We were a yard away from being down 17-10 in the 3rd quarter. I don’t care if you say Iowa was already playing conservative when we had our chance to make it a 1 TD game (If you think that…you think Iowa started playing conservative when they were up 10-0…which doesn’t sound likely), bottom line, we could have been down by 1 TD. I thought our defense played well, after the 1st quarter. They’ll get better, especially the linebackers. Offense, the WRs dropped way too many passes. Our O-Line could get virtually no push for the run game. Passing…good enough. Bolden had time to throw most of the time. Did he get hit after? Sure, but that is what a QB has to do. Barham got smacked around all night, and we weren’t helping him at all (Our TE was a freshman Haplea…you can’t expect him to come right in and help Barham quiet Clayborne). Luckily, Andrew Szczerba, who is a great blocking TE, has suffered from back problems. He should be back in 2-4 weeks (probably the latter). So, by the Michigan game. Huge boosts to the OTs…AS will give them help. Shout out to Chima Okoli…guy played great. If you remember Binns had 2 sacks against Penn State last year. This year, Okoli kept him in check. I’m very excited to see what he can do throughout the year. Wiz, Troutman, and Klopacz are playing pretty well. Overall, I think our O-Line for pass protection has been good. Running game, not so much. Lastly, let me say Bolden is going to be phenomenal. Can’t wait to see him grow, and only get better.
I hope to see a bounce back game against Illinois.
Penn State – 24
Illinois – 7
Was going to talk about next season, as well, but I feel liked this is already a long article so I’ll make this short and sweet. We return about 15-17 of our starters. I’ll go more in depth on that in another article though.
Thanks for reading.