November 12, 2011; University Park, PA, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions fans greeting the team buses prior to the game against the Nebraska Cornhuskers at Beaver Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rob Christy-USA TODAY Sports

Penn State Recruiting - Now What? (Or A First Glance At 2014)

Coaches treat recruiting as a year round endeavor, and we do the same.  The Class of 2013 is not even 2 days old, and we have already started to turn our attention to next year’s class.  The NCAA sanctions will of course limit PSU to just 15 scholarships, but with only 12 players signing on Wednesday, up to 3 players from the 2014 class could enroll in January (as 5 players did this season), and count towards the 2013 class.  If that happens, and it says here it’s like to, the Lions can sign up to 18 players.  However, that number is already down to 17, as Marland RB Mark Allen committed to PSU in October of 2012.  Any player who signs with Penn State next year would also be eligible for at least 2 potential bowl games, and a third should they redshirt.

We’ll go more in depth on PSU’s top targets in the coming days, but for now, here’s a list of players to know, and some of their other offers.  All ratings are from the 247 Composite.

  • QB Clayton Thorson (Wheaton, IL) — Clayton picked up a PSU offer last October when Charlie Fisher visited his school.  He’s not yet rated, but has offers from a number of B1G schools (Illinois, Northwestern, Indiana, Iowa).  Clayton visited PSU for the memorable Wisconsin game.
  • ATH DeAndre Thompkins (Swansboro, NC) — DeAndre was offered last November, and visited for the Wisconsin game.  He’s a 3 star player, with offers from both UNC and NC State, among others.  Florida and Clemson have shown interest as well.
  • DT Andrew Brown (Chesapeke, VA) – Andrew is a player that any school in the country wants.  247 gives him 5 stars, and he has offers from a who’s who of college football royalty (Alabama, Ohio State, Florida), but PSU is in his top 10, and could get a visit from him this spring or summer.  At this point, Brown would probably best be considered a long shot.
  • S Montae Nicholson (Monroevile, PA) – Montae attends Gateway High School, and picked up an offer from PSU last summer.  He was also on campus for the Indiana game.  247 gives him 4 stars.  His other offers come from Pitt, Ohio State, Michigan, Florida State, and Stanford, among others.
  • WR Chris Godwin (Middleton, DE) – Penn State offered Chris last October, and he was on campus for the Ohio State game.  The staff also got a close look at him during one of their summer camps.  Chris has 4 stars on 247, and offers from Ohio State, Rutgers, South Carolina, and Stanford.
  • WR Thaddeus Snodgrass (Springfield, OH) – This one is so much more than a name.  Thaddeus is a 4 star player on 247, and the word on the street has been it’s an Ohio State and Notre Dame race.  However, he tweeted the following earlier this week.  Bill O’Brien wants to make an impact in Ohio, and this would be a good way to do it.
  • RB Shai McKenzie (Washington, PA) – Mark Allen is already on board, but after not getting a RB recruit in 2013, O’Brien wouldn’t hate adding a 2nd, and Shai is a good one.  He’s 3 stars, but has offers from Michigan State, Tennessee, Pitt, and Rutgers, among others.
  • ATH Dravon Henry (Alquippa, PA) – Dravon has played both running back and safety, but the smart money is on him ending up on the offensive side.  He has 4 stars, and offers from Pitt, Michigan, Ohio State, Rutgers, and West Virginia.  Pitt may have a slight lead early on.

This list will grow, and we’ll certainly be looking at some other players in the coming days, but these are some of PSU’s biggest targets early on, and even more offers (or maybe a commit?) could be coming at Junior Day later this month.

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