In last week’s recruiting update, I took a look at some of the top names left on the board for the Lions. Three of those players are considered among the best defensive tackles in the country, Thomas Holley, Ricky Walker, and Derrick Nnadi. With so much of the 2014 class made up of skill, it seems likely that the remaining 4 spots in the class (if O’Brien and the staff use all 15 allowed scholarships) will focus on the line, specifically the defensive side of things. Over the weekend, a fast rising prospect in Millville, New Jersey’s Atoine White became the latest prospect to get a PSU offer.
White is a 3-star prospect according to 247, and the 22nd ranked player in a good New Jersey class. The Lions became the 4th Big 10 program to offer White, joining Michigan State, Rutgers, and Maryland. The Spartans are likely a slight leader at this point, but the offer from PSU will almost certainly move them amongst the leaders.
The obvious question is whether this is a sign of where things stand with the likes of Holley, Walker, and Nnadi. My initial instinct is that it’s more a sign of the emphasis O’Brien and the staff have put on closing out this class, especially on the interior defensive line. While Penn State seems to be in good shape with the three prior offers, along with the more recent offer to JUCO DT Cory Johnson, it would be foolish to put all your effort into just those 4 players, especially given their decision timetable. I fully expect PSU to take 2 tackles with the remaining 4 slots, and this is just a move to ensure they get what they feel is needed.
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