Last Friday, four-star offensive line prospect Josh Marks of Catawissa, Pa. selected the Nittany Lions over in-state rival Pittsburgh. Standing 6-foot-4, and weighing close to 300 pounds, Marks has the size to play one of the tackle positions. However, Penn State sees him as a guard and that will be where he will get his first opportunity.
On Wednesday, Penn State picked up a local commitment when State College product Nathan Stupar picked the Nittany Lions. While Stupar's father played at Penn State, he also has ties to two other major programs, which made his decision a bit more interesting. His brother currently suits up for Virginia and his uncle, Jeff Hostetler, is one of West Virginia's all-time greats. Stupar caught 44 balls as a tight end this year and also played end on defense. But at 6-foot-2, 220 pounds, linebacker is the position he will play at Penn State.
Of course, if Penn State garnered two of the five commitments, three Pennsylvania players chose other schools. Four-star athlete Steve Paskorz of Allison Park, Pa. picked Notre Dame over Michigan and Pitt. The other two Pennsylvania prospects will be playing in the Big East conference in 2007.
Earlier this month, Syracuse became the first school to offer a scholarship to Max Suter of Greensburg Central Catholic High School and Wednesday he rewarded the Orangemen by giving them his commitment. Though he put up impressive numbers as a running back in 2005, the 5-foot-10, 185-pound Suter will play safety in college. Temple and Akron were runners-up for Suter's services.
Offensive tackle Donny Barclay of Harmony, Pa. committed to West Virginia this week, choosing the Mountaineers over North Carolina State and Pittsburgh. Like Josh Marks, Barclay has an uncle that attended West Virginia and the family has been attending games in Morgantown for years. Barclay has good footwork, and at this time is a better pass protector than he is a run blocker.
West Virginia also received a commitment from Morgantown defensive lineman Junius Lewis. At 6-3, 265 pounds, the Mountaineers plan to play him at the strong side defensive end position. However, it is not out of the realm of possibility that he could eventually become a defensive tackle. West Virginia beat out Georgia Tech and Minnesota to get Lewis.
Alabama secured their second commitment of the season this week and, interestingly, both recruits are from Florida. Chris Lett is 6-foot-1, 210-pound athlete from Pensacola and was recruited by Alabama to play cornerback. Lett grew up a Florida fan, and despite an offer from the Gators, Lett decided on the Crimson Tide following a great visit to Tuscaloosa. Lett had also considered Auburn. Bradenton native Jermaine McKenzie committed to Alabama three weeks ago.
The Iowa Hawkeyes continued their strong recruiting effort in May by getting their fourth commitment of the month in defensive tackle Bryan Bulaga of Woodstock, Ill. At 250 pounds, Bulaga will need to add a quite a bit of weight to compete as a defensive tackle in the Big Ten. But his 6-foot-5 frame should allow him to do just that. Bulaga was also taking a serious look at Wisconsin. He also received offers from Nebraska and Michigan after he had decided on Iowa.
Growing up in Kirkland, Wash., Chris Izbicki was always a University of Washington fan. When the Huskies failed to sign a tight end in the 2006 recruiting class, Izbicki was rumored to be a heavy Washington lean. On Wednesday, he made it official, by committing to head coach Tyrone Willingham. Izbicki had 25 receptions this fall and also had 58 tackles while playing defensive end. The 6-foot-4, 240-pounder had received offers from several other Pac-10 schools, with Stanford receiving the most consideration.
When you scan Scout.com's final 2006 recruiting team rankings, you will have to look way down the list to find Virginia. Their final team ranking was No. 53, and in the ACC they ranked ahead of only Wake Forest, despite signing 23 players. Al Groh and the Cavalier staff seem to have righted the ship this recruiting season, scoring a big early victory a month ago with the commitment of four-star quarterback Peter Lalich. They continued their early momentum this past week by receiving commitments from three recruits.
Cornerback Chase Minnifield hails from Lexington, Ky., and though the hometown Wildcats had offered, Minnifield's final two schools were Virginia and Louisville. Virginia now has nine total commitments.