Penn State Football Recruiting Roundup: September 14, 2016

Sep 10, 2016; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions head coach James Franklin walks on the sidelines against the Pittsburgh Panthers during the fourth quarter at Heinz Field. PITT won 42-39. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 10, 2016; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions head coach James Franklin walks on the sidelines against the Pittsburgh Panthers during the fourth quarter at Heinz Field. PITT won 42-39. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports /

This weekend the Penn State football team will host the Temple Owls in their third game of the season. So, it is time to take a look at Penn State Football recruiting.

Welcome back to Victory Bell Rings’ weekly look at Penn State Football recruiting. In this week’s recruiting roundup we will take a look at a few different topics. So, it is a busy one.

We will take a look at players visiting campus this weekend, players who are ready to announce their commitment, and what impact the offensive improvement has had on recruiting so far this fall. So, let’s dive in. Shall we?

Weekend Visitors

Last weekend, the Penn State football team traveled across the state to Pittsburgh to battle their arch nemesis, the Pitt Panthers. In this game the Nittany Lions suffered a heartbreaking 42-39 loss. This Saturday the Nittany Lions return home to host another in-state rival, the Temple Owls.

As you would expect, the Nittany Lions are slated to host recruits this weekend. Hopefully Beaver Stadium is rocking and the Nittany Lions have a good showing against Temple and avenge last season’s loss to the Owls. This is because Penn State will be hosting two important official visitors this Saturday.

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The first of these is a visit that has been planned for quite some time now. Garner, North Carolina, defensive lineman Matthew Butler will take an official visit to Penn State this weekend. While Butler has been on the Penn State staff’s radar for a while, this will be his first visit to Happy Valley.

Butler also holds offers from Duke, Miami, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas A&M, among others. The Nittany Lions are recruiting Butler as a defensive tackle. Currently, Penn State is still looking for its first defensive tackle recruit for the 2017 cycle.

Right now, Butler’s recruitment is pretty wide open. If there is a favorite, it would be Tennessee. However, if Penn State is going to be a player here they need to blow Butler away with his official visit this weekend.

The other official visitor that Penn State will host this weekend is linebacker Anthony Hines.

Hines’ official visit is one that has come out of seemingly nowhere. Hines is a Plano, Texas, native and has offers from everywhere. 247 Sports ranks Hines as the 85th best player in the country, and the second best middle linebacker. So it goes without saying that this is a huge visit for the Nittany Lions.

Last weekend Hines took an official visit to Texas A&M. He also holds offers from schools such as Auburn, Florida, Ohio State, Oklahoma, TCU, and Texas, among others. He plans to announce his college decision on November 29th.

Right now it is tough to see Penn State as anything more than a long shot here. However, James Franklin and company have been blowing recruits away that they appeared to be long shots for in the past. I’m sure the Penn State coaching staff will roll out the red carpet for Hines this weekend.

Hopefully, Beaver Stadium is rocking and the Nittany Lions steam roll Temple. Because there is zero doubt in my mind that Anthony Hines would start as a true freshman next fall.

Mark Webb Set To Announce

Four-star wide receiver Mark Webb will announce his college decision on Friday. Webb is a Warminster, PA, native and attends Archbishop Wood High School. Webb will announce his college choice at halftime of Wood’s game on Friday.

Mark Webb will be choosing between Alabama, Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, Penn State, and Temple. Unfortunately, it appears that Webb will be joining his cousin and St. Joe’s Prep star D’Andre Swift at Georgia. This comes despite the fact that Webb, like Swift, appeared to be a Penn State lean for a long time.

Webb has appeared to be trending toward Georgia for a month or two now. What is frustrating though is that Webb wanted to see more out of Penn State’s offense under Joe Moorhead this fall. That has happened so far, as the wide receivers have been highly involved in the offense. Despite that, Webb is no longer visiting this weekend.

The Nittany Lion coaching staff will not stop recruiting Webb any time soon. Just like they have not stopped recruiting Swift. Penn State’s offense has been better than Georgia’s through two games this season. Hopefully if that continues, the Nittany Lions can still land official visits from Webb and Swift and make a push to possibly flip them.

New Offense Impressing Recruits?

During James Franklin’s first two seasons as Penn State’s head coach, the Nittany Lion offense has struggled mightily. This has led to a lot of recruits that are high on Penn State being hesitant to commit to the Nittany Lions. This offseason they were promised an improved offense under Joe Moorhead’s guidance, but they wanted to see it on the field.

Through the season’s first two games that is exactly what they have seen. The Nittany Lions are currently averaging 36 points and nearly 400 yards of total offense. They have also done a great job of spreading the ball around and getting multiple players involved.

A better offense leads to a more exciting product and more wins. Obviously, these things excite recruits. So far, Penn State’s offense has done what it needs to do this season.

Next: Saturday A Recruiting Win?

That will do it for this week. As always, stay tuned here at Victory Bell Rings for all of the latest news in the world of Penn State football recruiting. Especially with the Nittany Lions hosting a pair of big official visitors this weekend.