Penn State ASC Overview

FOS recruiting reporter Greg Pickel tackles the event, which was held Saturday on campus. Get his quick-hitting thoughts on key prospects and more.

Penn State completed its second and final Advanced Skills Camp of 2012 Saturday. Here is what jumped out at us.

• Gateway's Montae Nicholson was the only prospect we know of who picked up an offer, and the 2014 defensive back looked good in both one-on-one and seven-on-seven competitions. He had at least two interceptions to go along with a handful of break-ups, and seemed to have good recovery speed and a strong read on most plays.

• Fellow Gateway teammate and classmate Delvon Randall was also in attendance. While he wasn't nearly as skilled as Nicholson, he showed a lot of potential and is a kid the Penn State staff should keep an eye on. He has plenty of time to mature and showcase his skills.

• Recent PSU verbal commit Will Fuller was in attendance (as an observer). He noted that Paint Branch High (Burtonsville, Md.) product Thomas Lucas was one of the best receivers at Saturday's camp. Fuller also chatted with the PSU staff and some current players while at University Park.

• Lucas is an interesting prospect with good speed off the line and what appeared to be good, soft hands. He has no offers yet. But he thinks (and we agree) that offers may come soon. He is a quiet kid who played defensive back all of last season. He decided to camp at wide receiver because, “I played defensive back all season and I love it, but I know I'm a good wide receiver, too.”

• Another wide-receiver that stood out to us was Florida American Heritage 2013 prospect Tyler Carmona, who is a legit 6-foot-5 with long strides. He beat most of the defensive backs he faced on deep post routes.

• Bishop McDevitt (Harrisburg, Pa.) wide-receiver Brian Lemelle said the camp went well, and said both Bill O'Brien and Larry Johnson reiterated to him how much they would love to have him in blue and white. Lemelle said after the camp that no school is ahead of any others at this point.

• 2014 cornerback D'Andre Payne was also in attendance as an observer Saturday after camping and receiving an offer at the ASC June 2. Payne felt the one-on-one competitions were much more competitive at this camp then the one he attended, and said he enjoyed being back on campus. Payne spent most of the day watching the camp with current Penn Stater Stephon Morris.

• While some defensive backs and wide receivers stood out, it was hard to get a read on the group as a whole because the quarterbacks in attendance struggled to complete passes. Overthrows were as common as wide ones. While it led to a couple of tip-toe and diving catches, it was tough to judge some of the prospects.

• Speaking of defensive backs, 2014 prospect Troy Vincent Jr. was expected to attend Saturday's camp, but a church activity prevented him from making it to University Park. We are hearing that he will try to visit sometime in July.

• Pennsylvania big man Quenton Nelson wants to play DT in college. But FOS is hearing Penn State wants him as offensive lineman. He worked at both positions Saturday.

• One of the linemen who stood out was Ricky Watkins, a 2014 DT from Bethel High in Hampton, Va. He enjoyed working with Larry Johnson and said he got much better after working out at the camp. He's a big kid who can move, but has a frame for more muscle to be added. Keep an eye on him as he develops.

• Linebacker Buddy Brown rolled an ankle during the morning portion of Saturday's camp and didn't do much afterward. He seemed pretty disappointed when we saw him in the morning.

• Penn State 2013 verbal commitment Brendan Mahon told FOS that he currently weigh 318, and there's no doubt that it's a legitimate measure. He's a massive guy with huge hands. We're thinking he can probably stand to lose about 15 pounds, though.

• Washington, D.C., prospects Derwin Gray and Yannick Ngakoue were both expected to be in attendance. But both committed to Maryland Friday night and pulled out of the camp. Same goes for New Jersey running back Corey Clement, who committed to Pittsburgh.

• There were a ton of current Penn State team members completing Saturday morning workout programs in the refurbished Lasch Building weight room. Rob Bolden, Adrian Amos, Donovan Smith, Allen Robinson, Silas Redd and Gerald Hodges were among those spotted around the complex. For the most part, all the players looked bigger than when we last saw them, especially Robinson and Smith.


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