Hello all, back again after a short leave of absence. This time in a part-time role, though. Will just be doing recruiting updates every week, with a few other things aprinkled in there.
Like the topic says, this will be a nice guideline to the 2013 class. Prospects that we are or may go after, and how I feel about them as players, and how I feel about them in regards to signing with Penn State. As more of these prospects are mentioned, I’ll address them in the weekly updates, but for now…just picked which ones I felt like (pretty much).
Quarterback – very deep class for QB. Around the area and nation wide. QB is a massive need too so that certainly helps O’Brien.
Offers: Penn State, Stanford, BC, WVU, Virginia, and Rutgers.
Burns definitely passes the eyeball test at QB, as he has the physique of a TE. He’s a guy with a lot of potential, but definitely will need some work in college. The first thing you’ll notice with Burns is the happy feet. It isn’t something that is terrible (Peyton Manning actually moves his feet quite a bit), but with being a QB, that’s going to affect balance, among other things. His throwing a motion is a bit whacky too, but it isn’t terrible. You see him make a lot of difficult throws in the video, but he also struggled (as you can see if you check out his stats). Has a strong arm, but his deep passes aren’t very pretty looking. Overall, he’s a strong athletic kid who has the talent. He’ll need coaching and a few years, but if O’Brien and Co. can set him on the right track…he’s an NFL QB.
He’s very interested in Penn State. LJ is currently his recruiter, and Mr. Burns stated that he and his son loved the hire of O’Brien. I would say Penn State is #1 for Burns. Not a lean, but leading for, definitely.
Offers: Penn State, Virginia, Miami, Alabama, South Carolina, Tennessee, Rutgers, and UConn.
Another QB from VA, who has two other big time QB to go along with Hack and Burns. Also, another QB with impressive size and an impressive arm. He isn’t the athlete that Burns is, but looks quite polished. Has a really nice release point/throwing motion. Very quick and compact. Has a cannon for an arm. Quick release with a stromg arm…that’s good. Shows he can make all the throws. Throws a very nice deep ball. His footwork isn’t the best in the world, but really one of the few things that he’ll need to work on. Granted I haven’t seen every QB in the nation, but I don’t see how this guy isn’t in the Top 5.
When Hackenberg received his offer, he stated that Penn State was one of the schools he was hoping would offer. Actually grew up in Pottsgrove, but moved to Virginia when he was eight. Overall, I think Penn State is right at the top. Virginia and Alabama are right there too. Definitely think it’ll be a battle between those teams. He’ll be visiting February 18th for the Junior Day.
Offers: Central Michigan
Down from Florida and getting some Penn State love, something that we’ll expect more of in the future. Anyway, a big QB. Cogswell is just an all-around big guy, looking like Ryan Mallett or Big Ben when standing in the pocket. He shows good arm strength, good mechanics and throwing motion, and excellent touch on the ball. Not a guy who will just zip it in there all the time, as he shows the understanding of when to lob it or take some heat off it.
Stated a few weeks back that he feels Penn State will be offering. Plans on coming up for the junior day, February 18th. Arkansas is the team I’d look out for right now. Still very early, but they seem to be a player here given the success they’ve had with bigger QBs.
Other QBs to look out for:
Damion Terry (Big and mobile. Think Collin Kapernick). Tim Boyle (Another big QB with some decent wheels. Solid looking one too). Kevin Olsen (Big time QB prospect from NJ. From the notable Olsen family. Don’t see PSU here though). Caleb Scepaniak (Big QB that looks like a TE. Had big interest in PSU with the old staff). Boeing Brown (Another QB that can move pretty well). Malik Zaire (One of the few dual-threats PSU is targeting. Very elusive. From Ohio, and favoring the Buckeyes but PSU is showing interest and could get a visit).
Running Back – Running back doesn’t look too strong. After Williams, there is no complete local back. Definitely see us diving into Texas, Florida, or Georgia for a RB, if need be.
Offers: Notre Dame, Wisconsin, Pitt, Purdue, Rutgers, Sotuh Carolina, Maryland, Virginia, Arizona State, UConn, and Temple.
Without any doubt, one of the best running backs in the nation. First off, he has breakaway speed. Definite 4.4 guy, as they say. Very elusive, can make guys miss with ease. Breaks tackles well, doesn’t go down easily. Has good size at RB. Not too big, not too small. Just a really impressive back. He’s top 5 in the country.
Williams has yet to visit Penn State, and with this scandal the last few months, I imagine very little contact has been made. That should be changing the next few weeks. What’s his interest in PSU? No one really knows, but I know he said in a previous article in September or so that he wanted to experience a Penn State game, so that is obviously a plus. I’d look for Coach Butler and Coach London to hit Williams hard. Also, Williams played his last three seasons at West Catholic. He’ll now be transferring because WC is closing. On the bright side, La Salle high school is in his top 3. Coach Butler went to La Salle so I’d imagine he has some in-roads there. Could certainly help.
Ayres is the definition of a “bowling ball back”. He’s very small at 5’8, but is a legitimate 200 lbs. Ayres certainly isn’t going to be a burner, but he has pretty good speed. Luckily, he’s very quick and shifty. Gets to 0 to 40 in a second, and doesn’t lose much speed when make cuts. Runs very hard and isn’t afraid of contact. Bounces off tacklers at times, when he isn’t making them miss. Not sure if he is a every down back, but he is an intriguing prospect. Could definitely see O’Brien really liking him, as he could do a lot of different things an as all-purpose back.
Believe he’s already camped at Penn State. Also, said that Penn State was one of his favroite teams growing up (Along with the Buckeyes and like 3 other schools). Haven’t heard much about Ayres since then, but like all prospects, these coming weeks should be telling. An excellent student, by the way. 4.0 GPA.
-Augustus Edwards (NY) – 6’1 210
Offers: UConn and Vanderbilt
Edwards is a back with petty good speed for his size. Not a TJ Duckett power runner, but certainly a guy who will be playing at 220-230 in college. Shows good power in a lot of runs, but also shows elusiveness and speed. Under-the-radar, like a lot of guys are from New York, but I expect him to have offers from most of the north east. Rutgers and Syracuse are soon to offer, and he’s apparently visiting Alabama in the spring.
Other RBs to look out for: Derrick Green (Big-bodied RB from VA. Seems to be an OSU lean. Richie Anderson Jr. (Son of the former player, SR. More of an APB). Laray Smith (Another RB from NY. Impressive film and definitely runs hard). Alvin Kamara (RB from GA that PSU has been in contact with. should be a big prospect).
Wide Receivers – A relatively weak year here. Not all that deep, but it is early. Definitely some talent, but not the depth that you like to see.
-Robert Foster (PA) – 6’3 180
Offers: Ohio State and anywhere he wants to go
One of the most talented players in PA in a long time. Has good size at 6’2-6’3 to go along with breakaway speed. Very elusive, very shifty, etc. He’s been compared to a bigger DeSean Jackson. A complete gamebreaker, game changer, whatever you want to call him. Just a hell of a talent.
Some good news on the PSU front here. He will be visiting for the February 18th JR-Day. That’s big. With the old staff, I don’t think we would of had a shot. A shot of energy has done PSU well, and Foster is case #1.
-Ryan Switzer (WV) – 5’10 175
Offers: Florida State, Penn State, Wake Forest, Northwestern, GT, and Purdue.
The big question with O’Brien in town is who is going to be the Wes Welker? Well, Switzer seems like a clone (as much as one can be to Welker). Short, fast, quick, and white. Hails from West Virginia, where obviously the talent isn’t great, but definitely shows his own talent on film. Did well on the camp scene as well, as he pulled in an offer from Florida State while he was down there. He’ll be one of the top slot-WRs in the country.
If you remember, Switzer almost committed to Penn State back in the summer. Ended up holding off, but remains very interested. Believe he is coming to the JR-Day so more positives. Wouldn’t be shocked if he pops on the visit, but…I have a feeling Florida State makes him wait a little bit longer.
-Andre Levrone (MD) – 6’2 180
Offers: Auburn, Mississippi State, and Virginia.
Levrone is from Good Counsel. The first thing that PSU needs to do is to hit Good Counsel (DeMatha and Gilman too). Larry Johnson SR is very good friends with the HC at GC so there is no reason that we shouldn’t recruit that school as hard as recruit any other place in the country. Anyway, Levrone really broke out at the Army All-American Combine, and apparently dominated the competition according to many on-lookers. He showed excellent hands, good speed, and ran solid routes. Just an athletic WR with good size.
Other WRs to look out for: Andre Patton (Tall and athletic from Delaware). Paul Harris (Ditto, except from MD). Ricky Jeune (WR with good size, could also get a look at DB). William Fuller (Has pretty good size at 6’1, pretty thin, but good speed and explosiveness. From Philly).
Tomorrow – The Big Uglies, OL and DL. Thursday – LB and DB.
Remember, follow me on twitter: twitter.com/PatrickVBR (make me feel important, please). I talk mostly sports/Penn State with a few personal rants every once in a while (just to keep things fresh).