There is much more good news this week than there has been in the last several. First, Penn State added a commitment…to last year’s class. Brennan Franklin, a stout middle linebacker from Arizona, pledged his services to the 2012 class that is already on campus. This is actually a pretty slick move by the staff. By adding Brennan, they get depth at a position that not only needs bodies, but is likely to lose one or two to transfer in the coming days. Also, he won’t count against this years class limit, as there was room for more scholarships in the 2012 class, which was not hit by the NCAA. Brennan had a couple smaller-school offers but said “It’s a dream for every linebacker to play there.” As for the sanctions? “I know there’s a mess out there, but it’s one of the best schools to go to,” and added “If I went to New Mexico or New Mexico State or Indiana, they wouldn’t be he going to a bowl game anyway.” Welcome to Penn State, Brennan.
By now you’ve likely heard the story of the six recruits visiting on Saturday and re-affirming their commitments to Penn State and Bill O’Brien. Garrett Sickels, Brendan Mahon, Andrew Nelson, Will Fuller, Adam Breneman and Christian Hackenberg became Penn State legends at the age of 17 over the weekend when they stated that they are in it for the long haul. “We’re going to do something much bigger than win bowls”, said Breneman. “Coach O’Brien said he is going to make me the best quarterback that I can be and the best man that I can be”, Hackenberg told ESPN.
Despite not making that visit, Florida DB Neiko Robinson told me that he is also 100% committed to Penn State. He’s looking forward to taking his official visit to Penn State to talk things over with the coaches, but he is not wavering on his commitment.
OT Dorain Johnson has many questions that he wants answered, but I get the feeling that he will also remain committed once he has a chance to sit down with coach O’Brien. That could happen in the coming weeks. I’ve also heard that Virginia Tech may now be in the picture. Not sure he’d go that far from home, though.
Another player who intends on visiting Penn State is Central Dauphin linebacker Zayd Issah. He has scheduled his visit and will be in Happy Valley this weekend. He says that his decision will be made after that and will be final.
Not all reports are rosy, though. Philadelphia RB David Williams tells me he has “somewhat” eliminated Penn State. He was the last running back with an offer who was still interested in the Nittany Lions, as they seemed confident that they would land him. However, another in-state running back would love to hear from O’Brien and the staff…
Two/three star Roman Clay of Lancaster, PA has a handful of offers from smaller schools, but visited Penn State back in April and is in contact with the coaches. On whether he is interested, despite the sanctions: “Yeah, of course. I support my home state to the fullest.” What Roman lacks in top-end speed, he makes up for in power. The 5’10″ 205 pounder rushed for nearly 1900 yards and 32 touchdowns last year on 184 carries.
Another in-state player reached out to me to ask about the depth chart and recruiting situation at his position. He asked to remain anonymous because he is currently committed to another school but said that if Penn State offered, he would definitely be interested.