PSU closing in on 2013 recruits

Adam Breneman and Christian Hackenberg, 2013 commits

With 12 commitments for the 2013 recruiting class, only a few scholarships remain due to the 15 limit set by the NCAA sanctions.  However, three committed players (Adam Breneman, Jordan Smith, and most recent legacy commit Richie Anderson) plan to enroll early which indicates that 6 scholarships remain available.  Who are the likely prospects to fill the class?  Let’s take a look.

Crayton at PSU vs OSU

Top Targets

Rod Crayton (DT) out of Dadeville, Alabama.  Rivals lists him as a 4 star.  A big time player being recruited by many heavyweight programs.  Attended PSU vs OSU game.  Appears to have it narrowed down to a few programs, with PSU making the list.   A big position of need for PSU — would be a big pick-up.

DaeSean Hamilton (WR) out of Virginia.  Rivals rating: 3 star. Has offers from Miami, Michigan State, Illinois, Virginia Tech.  PSU is in the running.

OR

Lemelle at PSU vs OSU

Brian Lemelle (WR) out of Harrisburg, PA. Rivals rating: 3 star. Has offers from Nebraska, Iowa, Purdue, West Virginia, Virginia Tech.  Attended PSU vs OSU game.  PSU definitely towards the top of the list, but if Hamilton commits, I would expect PSU to ease off their recruitment of Lemelle (or vice versa).

Zayd Issah (LB) out of Harrisburg, PA.  Rivals rating: 3 star. Originally committed to PSU over the Summer, then reopened recruitment following sanctions.  Attended PSU vs OSU game.  Still has PSU in the list….although offers continue to increase.  Looks like PSU will have a big challenge trying to pull him back.

Jake Waters (QB) currently starting at Iowa Western Community College is one of the hottest junior college prospects in the nation right now.  Plans to visit for the Indiana game.  Waters would be a much needed pick-up at the QB position, which has zero depth.

Interest Rising

Jonathan Walton (LB) out of Alabama.  Rivals lists him as a 2 star. Not being recruited by any big name football programs, yet being recruited hard by Ted Roof (unless Zayd Issah recommits, then the need for Walton declines). PSU is currently his biggest offer, would expect him to take it unless another big fish in South comes along.

Bullock at PSU vs OSU

Wesley Bullock (RB) out of Tampa, Florida.  Rivals lists him as a 2 star.  Attended PSU vs OSU game.  A small but very skilled all-purpose back at 5’7” 160 lbs.  Still, I wonder with Belton, Zwinak, and Lynch returning as well as the recent addition of Richy Anderson (RB) and 2014 commit Mark Allen (RB) – will the staff continue to recruit RBs? 

Aaron Wimberly (RB) also at Iowa Western C.C. with Waters.  Verbally committed to Iowa State, but plans to make the trip to visit PSU with Waters for the Indiana game. Same scenario as Bullock — will the staff pull for another RB in this year’s class?

Chasz Wright (OT) out of Woodbridge, VA.  Rivals rating: 2 star.  PSU currently competing with N.C. State and Connecticut.  Would be a solid pickup for the offensive line.

Malcolm Cook (CB) out of Fork Union, Virginia.  Plays on the same high school team as top PSU recruit Christian Hackenberg at Fork Union Military Academy.  Although committed to play at Virginia, I wouldn’t be surprised if he jumped at an offer to come play with his high school teammate, especially after making the trip with Hackenburg to attend the PSU vs OSU game

Conclusions

Final Commitments
PSU really wants to pick up Rod Crayton (DT) and certainly has a good shot.  I expect they’ll take either Hamilton or Lemelle at WR as well as another LB (ideally Issah, but Walton more likely). They would love to pick up Jake Waters (QB) and will certainly try to reel him in when he visits in November.  I imagine Bullock (RB) takes the offer, despite PSU no longer having a huge need at the position.

‘Linebacker U’ fading
One has to wonder though how much longer “Linebacker U” status remains with PSU struggling to recruit even mediocre LBs.  You can’t ignore the hurdle in bringing in the talent like we have in years past.  PSU use to be a top choice for some of the best LBs in the country, current starters Mauti, Hodges, and Carson were all highly recruited athletes coming out of high school, some of the best in their class (as were Mike Hull and transfer Khari Fortt).  Will the 2 and 3 star recruits of today’s PSU be able to compete at the same level as we’re use to seeing the 4-5 star recruits perform?

Fortunately, coach Ron Vanderlinden is one of the best and will continue bringing the best out of every player he coaches, regardless of “rating” coming out of high school.  That alone will keep PSU LBs relevant, but will it be sufficient to remain Linebacker U?

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