Much like the holiday season we are currently in, the past week has been a very busy yet joyous time on the recruiting trail at Penn State. Bill O’Brien and his staff have been working hard, trying to continue to bolster the 2014 recruiting class. Over the past few days, the Nittany Lions have received three verbal commitments, had a recruit sign an official letter and offered a scholarship to a recruit committed to another program.
The highlight of the week came on Tuesday, when top defensive tackle prospect Thomas Holley verbally committed to the Nittany Lions. His decision had reportedly come down to Penn State and Florida. The 4-star recruit is one of the top defensive tackles in the country and will be a great addition to Penn State’s defensive line.
Joining Holley on the defensive line will be another talented recruit, Tarow Barney. He had already made a verbal commitment, but made it official on Wednesday when he signed a letter of intent and announced his plans to enroll at the school in January. Barney, a junior college recruit, will join fellow recruits Michael O’Connor, De’Andre Thompkins and Antoine White in the upcoming semester in order to enroll in classes and be eligible for the team’s offseason strength and conditioning program.
Overshadowed by the anticipation of Holley’s announcement at the beginning of the week was the verbal commitment of linebacker Donte Raymond. The three-star linebacker is the third at his position of the 2014 class and will likely play the outside linebacker position for the Nittany Lions. This was an important player to add, as linebacker was a very thin position this past season.
It was also announced on Monday that tight end Jacob August plans to sign on as a walk-on for the Nittany Lions. In light of the scholarship reductions, walk-ons have become a vital part of providing depth on Penn State’s roster.
The final piece of positive news that came in the last week is the fact that Penn State made an offer to another school’s recruit. O’Brien and his staff showed aggressiveness and offered a scholarship to Justin Herron, a 3-star offensive lineman who’s already verbally committed to Rutgers.
With the additions of Holley and Raymond, Penn state’s class currently stands at 18 recruits. Holley’s commitment raised the Nittany Lions’ 2014 class into the top-20 nationally on several lists. With National Signing Day just over a month away, expect the recruiting moves to intensify as the team scrambles to put together the perfect class.
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