National Outlook

As everyone gets geared up for the start of the football season, the recruiting game rolls on. Penn State won a couple of big battles recently, going into Ohio and Michigan and coming up with two big time commitments.

Michael Shaw is 6-foot-0, 180-pound running back from Trotwood, Ohio. Last fall, Shaw used his 4.45 speed to score 21 touchdowns on the ground while rushing for nearly 1,000 yards. gives him a four-star rating and lists him as the No. 22 running back in the class of 2008. Shaw is the second running back from Ohio to commit to Penn State this year. Brandon Beachum from Youngstown chose Penn State at the end of July. Shaw selected Penn State over Michigan.

Penn State also beat out Michigan for offensive lineman Doen'tae Pannell of Beverly Hills, Mich. The 6-foot--5, 300-pound Pannell is a very good basketball player and though he has the size to play tackle in college, he is athletic enough to play guard, as well.'s No. 33 offensive tackle also considered Michigan State, along with the Nittany Lions and Wolverines.

Michigan did pick up a commitment from Christian Wilson, a 6-foot-2, 235-pound athlete from McKees Rocks, Pa. ranks him as this year's No. 19 tight end, but Michigan recruited him as an H-back and also said that it is possible that he could wind up at linebacker. In 2006, Wilson rushed for 950 yards and 17 touchdowns while piling up 79 tackles on the other side of the ball. He also seriously looked at Rutgers and Clemson.

Florida State has had great success so far this recruiting season, especially when it comes to linebackers and rush ends. Last week, they added another good one in four-star defensive end Keith Wells from Gainesville, Ga. At 6-foot-5, 207-pounds Wells will have to add weight in order to play with his hand down at the next level. But he possesses great quickness which will allow him to get to the quarterback, something he did 12 times as a junior at Gainesville High School. Wells picked the Seminoles over Florida and Auburn.

Defensive tackle Masengo Kabongo from Fairfield, Conn. held nearly 20 offers, but he tipped his hand as to which college he would select in July when he told that his top three were Maryland, Florida, and Notre Dame. Since neither Florida nor Notre Dame had extended an offer, it was clear that Maryland was in a strong position to land the 6-foot-2, 280-pounder. On August 8th, the Terps did just that, securing a commitment from's No. 23 defensive tackle prospect. Kabongo was born in the Congo and moved to Connecticut five years ago, so he is still very new to the game of football and needs many of his natural talents refined.

Back in April, Houston quarterback Darron Thomas told that LSU was his top school. But as spring turned to summer, Tiger fans continued to wait for his commitment. What many of them didn't know is that the four-star prospect had committed to head coach Les Miles at LSU's camp in July. This week he made his decision known, delighting fans in the Pelican State. Thomas is a definite dual threat, passing for over 1,500 yards and running for 700 more in 2006. While LSU had long been his favorite, Florida offered in June and he gave them strong consideration.

Oklahoma State has watched rivals Oklahoma and Texas for years clean up on the field and in recruiting. While the Sooners and Longhorns are both on their way to successful recruiting campaigns, the Cowboys are certainly holding their own. This week they picked up their 19th commitment, four-star athlete Kye Staley from Guthrie, Okla. The 6-foot-0, 200-pound Staley plays quarterback for Guthrie High School. As far as his position at the next level, the only certainty is that he won't play quarterback. ranks him as the No. 11 safety prospect for 2008, but it is also possible that he could wind up at running back or wide receiver. Oklahoma State definitely beat out the big boys to land Staley, as he had offers from Oklahoma, Nebraska, and Michigan.

D.C. Jefferson had five scholarship offers and one of them was not like the others. Auburn, LSU, Central Florida, and Tennessee are southern schools well known in his Winter Haven, Fla. area. But after taking a trip to Rutgers in June, the Scarlet Knights jumped to the top of his list and last week the massive (6-foot-6, 241-pound) quarterback committed to head coach Greg Schiano. At this point, Jefferson is a pure athlete that needs considerable work on his technique. However, he has enormous potential based on his huge arm and great mobility.

Finally, Boston College added their tenth commitment of the season in Sugar Land, Texas wide receiver Clyde Lee. As a junior, Lee caught 35 passes for over 500 yards and six touchdowns. He had three other offers: McNeese State, Louisiana Tech, and Louisiana-Lafayette. Top Stories