Saturday was a big day at Penn State, as several recruits made visits to the school. New head coach James Franklin is trying to finalize his 2014 class with National Signing Day coming up on February 5th. While most of the attention focused on the verbal commitment from 4-star defensive player Koa Farmer, the Nittany Lions got a very important commitment from a kicker. Jorge Powell, considered one of the top-kickers in the country gave his verbal commitment to Penn State on Saturday.
Brandon Kornblue, who runs a website dedicated to kicker and punter recruits, shared the news on Twitter and included a picture of Powell on his visit to Penn State.
— Brandon Kornblue (@KornblueKicking) January 26, 2014
Powell, from Miami, Florida, currently attends Belen Jesuit Prep and is a 2-star prospect according to Rivals. He had previously committed to Tulane, but opened up his recruiting when the coaching situation changed there. Powell is a talented kicker and can also punt. He has high hopes and the potential to be a very successful kicker at the collegiate level.
While it’s very simple to overlook and not be excited about the commitment of a kicker, that’s not the case at Penn State. It’s no secret that both kicking and punting have been a struggle for the Nittany Lions over the past two seasons. Penn State has ranked near the bottom of the Big Ten Conference in both categories.
Kicker Sam Ficken, though much improved, has had many issues with consistency, especially early in the 2012 season when he missed four field goals in a one-point loss at Virginia. Alex Butterworth, who’s handled the punting over the past two seasons, has also had trouble with both accuracy and distance on punts.
The word on Powell is that he has a lot of talent as a kicker. Although his commitment to Penn State is not as glamorous as that of a five-star quarterback, it may prove to be the most important. Powell has the potential to drastically and immediately improve the Nittany Lions’ kicking game, something that is very important, especially during close games.
Be sure to follow VBR throughout the days leading up to National Signing Day.
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