Greg Pickel's PSU Pick Six

Tackling the latest trending topics in the world of Penn State football recruiting, including updates on a young quarterback and a very young running back.

Trending topics on the Penn State recruiting front now that the smoke from the Fourth of July has cleared.

• Though it appears the Nittany Lions have their quarterback of the future in the fold with Class of 2013 star Christian Hackenberg, they haven't stopped looking to the future with the Class of 2014. We've already learned about Michigan QB Chance Stewart's PSU camp experience. but his partner during the workouts, Cleveland (Tenn.) High prospect Austin Herink, will be getting a long look from PSU, as well. Herink was behind Class of 2012 Pittsburgh commit Chad Voytik last season, but said he believes he will get even more looks than what he has already once he takes the starter's job this season. Out of all the campers I've spoken to, Herink was most adamant about how impressed he was with new Lion coach Bill O'Brien's hands-on approach at camp: “Coach O'Brien was with us a good bit of the time, and made us call out the snap count and where the Mike linebacker was,” he said. “It was big to me for two reasons: the first being calling things out helps me realize what's going on better; and the second was it's the first camp I've been to where the head coach was there the whole time, and not watching from a distance.”

• Central Gwinnett High (Lawrenceville, Ga.) Class of 2015 running back Johnathan Hawkins confirmed he picked up an offer from Penn State at the end of the spring evaluation period. “My coach (Todd Wofford) told me that Penn State had offered, and it's really exciting because I wasn't expecting it. I must have had a great practice,” Hawkins said. Hawkins expects to be more involved in the Knights' offense this season. Hawkins is the first reported 2015 offer for the Nittany Lions. PSU defensive coordinator Ted Roof is also a product of Central Gwinnett High.

• Class of 2014 offensive tackle Chibuzo Ukandu of Gillman School (Baltimore) is receiving a ton of interest from the Nittany Lions. “I hope to get to Penn State this summer, hopefully in July, because I'm getting a ton of mail from them and want to see it other than pictures,” Ukandu said. Ukandu believes his strengths are his quickness and physicality, but wants to improve his consistency through conditioning.

• Class of 2013 safety Malcolm Cook (Fork Union Military in Virginia) reportedly turned plenty of heads at Penn State's last football camp of the summer, and believes an offer may be coming soon. “Coach (John) Butler and Coach (Charles) London both said they liked what they saw and that I was the best defensive back, and I want to play early so they are a great fit. I just hope they offer,” Cook said. The senior-to-be said he is waiting on his ACT and SAT scores to come back to send his transcripts to schools, and believes that will help him get more interest and offers.

• With Penn State linebacker recruiting clicking right along, Bayside Academy (Daphne, Ala.) 'backer Jonathan Walton hopes to make his decision in late July. But he has yet to seriously trim his list. “I think I want to wait to narrow it, because I don't even have a top three yet,” Walton said. Walton said he loves the people and the facilities at Penn State.

• Virginia is loaded with outstanding Class of 2014 prospects. Woodberry Forrest High outside linebacker Greer Martini is a good example of the talent level. The 6-foot-4, 215-pounder is keeping in touch with the PSU recruiter for his area, London. “I haven't talked to him in a while, but I'm going to give him a call this week to see how things are going and just keep in touch,” Martini said. Martini came away from an appearance at PSU's camp impressed with the facilities, but even more impressed with London and the staff.

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