Penn State fans found out again on Thursday night that yet another recruit from that 2014 class that was built by former head coach Bill O’Brien has flipped his commitment. While the news of a switched commitment is never good, it does now free up another scholarship and gives new head coach James Franklin the flexibility to recruit the guys that he wants to build his team. The Wolfpacker, a magazine covering NC State, tweeted the news that 3-star cornerback Troy Vincent flipped his commitment on Thursday.
The Wolfpacker has learned that corner Troy Vincent has switched his commitment from Penn State to NC State.
— The Wolfpacker (@TheWolfpacker) January 17, 2014
This news is somewhat disheartening for Penn State fans, especially coupled with the fact that 4-star defensive tackle Thomas Holley switched from Penn State to Florida just a day earlier. Also, Vincent was thought to be a solid commitment for the Nittany Lions, having made his decision last June. Like Holley, Vincent was recruited by former defensive line coach and talented recruiter, Larry Johnson. Johnson left Penn State this week to take a job as an assistant at Ohio State.
Hearing that some recruits are now changing their minds is not surprising. That’s to be expected when a coaching staff is changed, especially one as much as Penn State’s, especially on the defensive side. Johnson, linebackers coach Ron Vanderlin, secondary coach Anthony Midget and defensive coordinator John Butler, all who were around when the 2014 class was being put together, have since moved on.
With Vincent gone, Franklin now has the opportunity to go after different recruits.
As Franklin gets his new staff gets finalized, the recruiting should get easier. He’s already named Bob Shoop, his defensive coordinator at Vanderbilt, to the same post at Penn State. Shoop can now join in the recruiting and according to Andrew Shay of PennLive.com, is already planning a trip to visit a talented defensive player, Koa Farmer in California.
Based on Franklin’s track record in recruiting, and the fact that Vanderbilt has a few recruits who intend to follow him to Happy Valley, one has to be excited for what’s to come.
It stings at the time when a recruit spurns Penn State for a different school, but in reality, I see it now as a positive. It allows Franklin and his staff to find players who may have been overlooked by the previous regime due to not being a good fit for the system.
With National Signing Day still a few weeks away, it’s possible to see more recruits leave Penn State. However, it’s not like the scholarships are going to go unused. As I wrote after Holley decided to change, James Franklin can now go out and get someone he wants and who fits his scheme better. The man is a proven recruiter, so there’s no worry that he won’t be able to quickly refill the Penn State cupboard.
Follow VBR Lead Editor Barry Leonard Jr. on Twitter