November 12, 2011; University Park, PA, USA; A member of the Penn State Nittany Lions marching band performs before the game against the Nebraska Cornhuskers at Beaver Stadium. Nebraska defeated Penn State 17-14. Mandatory Credit: Rob Christy-USA TODAY Sports

Penn State Week In Review

It was another eventful week around Penn State, with plenty of recruiting nuggets, transfers off the basketball team, and maybe a JUCO transfer to fill one of those openings. Did you miss any of it?  Don’t worry, we have you covered with our week in review:

  • Ft. Washington, Maryland DB prospect Alameen Murphy made the trip to Happy Valley last weekend.  Murphy does not yet have an offer, as it appears the coaching staff is comfortable with where they stand with other players currently holding a PSU offer.  However, Alameen is a very intriguing prospect, given his lack of playing experience at defensive back, and his rapid improvement.  He may not be as “game ready” as some others, but he does seem like a high upside player.
  • Sticking with recruiting, the coaching staff extended two additional offers this week.  In a move that may surprise some folks, IMG Academy quarterback Michael O’Connor received an offer from O’Brien, after he visited campus last month.  With 3 scholarship QBs on the roster, all of whom have at least 3 years of eligibility left, it seemed unlikely PSU would pursue a quarterback in this class.  So much for that.  Michael is a highly regarded pocket passer, and again proving the power of O’Brien’s NFL experience with high school recruits.  On the other side of the ball Warren, Michigan linebacker Jared Wangler visited campus recently, and picked up an offer of his own.  PSU is the first BCS conference program to offer, joining a number of MAC schools.
  • One thing that has become clear with a number of PSU’s recent recruiting moves is the emphasis being placed on versatility.  With the 15/65 scholarship limits, O’Brien and the rest of the staff are going to need to be as creative as possible, and finding guys who can play 2 or 3 positions at a high level could prove to be key.
  • On the field, nothing has really changed at QB, and that’s OK.  With essentially two rookie quarterbacks vying for the starting job right now (with apologies to Bench’s brief appearance vs. Virginia, and Ferguson’s JUCO year), it was obvious before spring drills kicked off that O’Brien and Charlie Fisher were in no hurry to name a starter, as they were last year with 2 more experienced players in McGloin and Bolden.  I also think there’s a distinct possibility that O’Brien is hoping that arrival of the super recruit Christian Hackenberg lights a little hotter fire under the two older kids.
  • Switching to the hardwood, PSU confirmed the departure of Akosa Maduegbanum and Patrick Ackerman, which was first rumored last week.  PSU needed to clear one spot with the transfer of John Johnson from Pitt, and Tim Frazier’s redshirt, but the transfer of two players gives Chambers an additional scholarship to add to the 2013-14 team, or the class that can begin signing next fall.  Along those lines, PSU had a 6’10” JUCO forward on campus today.  De’Andre Leatherwood averaged 7.5 points and 8.2 rebounds per game at Prince George’s Community College.  No word on if any offer has been extended.

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