As you know, Penn State finalized its 2013 recruiting class last Wednesday when the last 12 players who will be on scholarship next year signed their letters of intent and faxed them into Happy Valley. What you may not know about are the several walk-on players, or “run ons” as they’ve become known to Penn Staters, who have verbally committed to suit up for the Nittany Lions next year. Let’s take a look! (click on player’s names for highlights!)
QB Jack Seymour (IN)
6’3″ 205 lbs.
In my opinion, Jake is probably the headliner of the class. He’s listed as a two star prospect by both Rivals and 247Sports and had offers from Ball State and Western Michigan. While those aren’t exactly NFL factories, they were offering Seymour a free ride and he chose instead to pay his way at Penn State. Seymour will almost certainly redshirt but, more importantly, he may make it easy for the staff to not burn a scholarship on a quarterback in 2014. With Bench, Hackenberg, Ferguson and Seymour all having multiple years of eligibilty left after 2013, a new freshman may not be necessary in what will be a small class.
QB Austin Whipple (PA)
6’2″ 200 lbs.
The son of a former college and NFL QB coach (Mark Whipple), Austin went the JuCo route out of high school and enrolled early at Penn State after one season at the Salisbury School in Connecticut. He has a good pocket presence and solid accuracy but his arm could be stronger. A guy like that had a decent season for the Nittany Lions last year and Whipple will have a shot at leaving the Spring as the number two quarterback in a few months.
QB D.J. Crook (MA)
6’2″ 205 lbs.
Another early enrollee, fresh from the JuCo ranks, DJ offers a different dimension with his mobility. He doesn’t have the natural arm talent of the other quarterbacks on the roster but once a player gets on campus and gets coached up, anything can happen. At the very least, he will provide enough depth to get the team through spring practice.
RB Cole Chiappialle (PA)
5’11″ 195 lbs.
The Beaver Falls native rushed for 404 yards on senior night against Chartiers Valley and jumped at the opportunity to run on at Penn State. Cole could be a contributor, even if on special teams, sooner rather than later.
WR Greg Garrity Jr. (PA)
5’11″ 180 lbs.
After reeling in 67 catches for 1240 yards and 18 touchdowns his senior year, this Penn State legacy was named first team All-State. He has good ball skills and is more shifty than fast but shows a knack for getting open underneath when he can’t outrun his defender. He faces a tough wide receiver depth chart but keep an eye out for this kid in the future. The Nittay Lions only took one scholarship wide receiver this year and they may only be able to take one next year, as well.
RB Von Walker (PA)
6′ 200 lbs.
After rushing for 1566 yards and 16 touchdowns on just 167 carries, Von was named to the PA class AAAA All State first team. If I had to pick one player off of this list to make a big impact somewhere on the field, Von Walker would be that guy. He has adequate size and speed and also refers to PSU as his “dream school.”
RB Adam Geiger (PA)
5’10″ 190 lbs.
While not the biggest or fastest running back out there, Geiger rarely gets cheated, making something out of nothing on several of his highlight runs. He’ll be on the bottom of a pretty strong RB depth chart when he enrolls but he called Penn State his “dream school” and will be happy to contribute in any way he can.
OT Evan Galimberti (PA)
6’4″ 245 lbs.
He’ll have to put on some weight in the next couple years but Evan has the frame to do it. He could play on either side of the field as he did at State College HS, but I think his best chance is at OT. He chose to walk-on at Penn State over offers from Wofford, Bucknell and Holy Cross. Here is a good piece on him from Guy Cipriano at the CDT.
OT Andrew Terlingo (PA)
6’5″ 270 lbs.
Rated a two star prospect by 247Sports, Terlingo drew attention from several BCS-caliber schools but was never offered a scholarship. Penn State took full advantage of the situation and added a player who will almost certainly see the field at some point later in his career.