Penn State Football: Recruiting Update 11/21/14


The ups and downs of recruiting has rared its ugly head over the past few weeks for the Nittany Lions.  The coaching staff has offered a number of blue chip prospects, received a verbal commitment, lost out on a top prospect, and had one of its top prospects decommit.

As many of us know, it’s tough for us to predict what a recruit is thinking, let alone guess which school he’ll give his verbal pledge too. After receiving a commitment last week from dual-threat quarterback, Tommy Stevens, Penn State thought it was in the running to land coveted offensive lineman Matthew Burrell.

However, to the surprise of many fans and insiders, Burrell announced his commitment to Ohio State on Monday.  Many believed that Burrell was between Penn State and Ohio State with the slight edge to the good guys. So when Burrell pulled the plug earlier this week it was a shock to many.

Then came Tuesday evening when we got word that one of our top prospects in Adam McLean had decommitted from the program. McLean, who was one of our most outspoken commits, was committed to the school since April. He was seen as one of the leaders of the class as he was actively recruiting other prospects to come to Penn State.

When word spread on Tuesday evening it sent many passionate fans into a frenzy and many began questioning the program and coaching staff. “Why the sudden decommitment,” “What is going on in State College,” “Can James Franklin and his staff close the deal and keep a class together?”

Come to find out, the decommitment had nothing to do with Penn State, the team, or the coaching staff. In fact, its rumored that McLean had some academic issues and had trouble getting the approval from the admissions department to fulfill his dream of playing for Penn State. It’s an unfortunate situation that we hope McLean can get figured out and we’ll all hold out hope that he may still end up at Penn State, although it’s a long shot.

It didn’t take the coaching staff long to search for a replacement as they offered a defensive tackle from New York on Wednesday.  Over the past few weeks the staff has been working hard evaluating prospects in the Class of 2015, 2016 and even the class of 2017. This has led to a handful of offers that we’ll take a look at below:

Austrian Robinson
Defensive End
Class of 2015
Trinity-Pawling School – New York

After receiving the news of the loss of Adam McLean the Penn State coaching staff wasted no time in offering a new defensive line prospect. Robinson is a 6-foot-6, 255-pound 3-star prospect out of New York. He’s rated by 247Sports as the No. 4 player in the state of New York. Said to be favoring Maryland, Robinson also holds offers from Purdue, Boston College, Miami, Ole Miss, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, Syracuse, and Virginia.

He will be taking an unofficial visit to State College next weekend for their game versus Michigan State.

You can check out his junior highlight tape here.

Jordan McNair
Offensive Tackle
Class of 2017
McDonogh School

As Penn State turns its attention to future classes the coaches are evaluating talent in both the Class of 2016 and 2017. One prospect in the Class of 2017 that has picked up an offer is offensive lineman Jordan McNair from Owings Mills, Maryland.

McNair is a big body who currently stands at 6-foot-5, 285-pounds. Not yet ranked by any scouting services, McNair has the makeup to be one of the top prospects in the DMV in the Class of 2017. He currently holds a trio of Big Ten offers that include Penn State, Ohio State, and Maryland.

He’s got a long way to go and there is no doubt that his recruitment will pick up over the next two years. You can check out his sophomore highlights here.

Malik Barrow
Defensive End
Class of 2016
Tampa Catholic H.S.

Barrow is a 3-star prospect who recently picked up a Penn State offer. The 6-foot-3, 250-pound prospect out of Florida was offered back in the spring but didn’t realize it until recently. He currently holds a handful of offers from the likes of Michigan State, Ohio State, Kentucky, Rutgers, Mississippi State, and UCF.

Barrow is a fundamentally sound athlete who dominates the line of scrimmage and causes disruptions in opposing backfields. You can check out his highlights here.

Eli Stove
Wide Receiver
Class of 2016
Niceville (Florida)

Stove is rated by as a 4-star athlete. He’s rated as the No.  14 wide receiver in the state of Florida. The 6-foot-1, 178-pound prospect is quick off the line, runs great routes and has the ability to get yards after the catch.  He holds a number of offers from big time programs that include Auburn, Clemson, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Louisville, Miami, Mississippi State, Notre Dame, South Carolina, and Tennessee.

He’s a prospect who has 4.4 forty-yard dash speed. He’s lightening quick, deadly in space and has the ability to create separation. He’s a great deep threat but also has the ability to get open across the middle.

Hailing from the heart of SEC country, it’ll be tough to land this prospect. However, if the coaching staff can get him on campus, you can’t count our chances out.  You can check out Stove’s highlights here.

Garrett Taylor
Class of 2015
St. Christopher’s School

Taylor, who was a one-time commitment to Michigan, recently announced that he has cut his list to three schools. His top three includes Penn State, LSU, and Virginia Tech.

Taylor is rated by 247Sports as a 4-star prospect. He ranks as the No. 3 cornerback in the state of Virginia.  The 6-foot-1, 190-pound prospect is a physical corner with good size and ball instincts. He’s tough against both the run and the pass and can play either cornerback or safety at the next level.

He is planning on visiting Penn State for their final home game versus Michigan State next weekend.

You can check out his highlights here.