PSU Future Focus: 2015 WRs & TEs

It is never too early to start looking ahead in the recruiting process. So we're giving the lowdown on Penn State's targets in the crop of high school juniors-to-be. In this installment, we zero in on the receivers and tight ends.

NCAA sanctions limit the number of prospects Penn State can take in its Class of 2014. The Nittany Lions have 15 spots open, and may be able to count a couple of early enrollees to their Class of 2013.

With 13 commitment already in the fold, PSU has actually had to turn away some strong prospects it might have taken if it had a full complement of 25 slots open.

If there is positive out of the restictions, it is that with so much of the work already done for the Class of 2014, Bill O'Brien and his staff have been able to devote a significant amount of time to the Class of 2015 (and even beyond).

With that in mind, we decided to let you know where Penn State stands with a host of juniors-to-be following the summer camp season. In our second installment, we break down the wideouts and tight ends.


Wide Receiver

Committed: None

Expected 2015 Roster: Eugene Lewis, Jonathan Warner, Matt Zanellato, Richy Anderson, DaeSean Hamilton, Troy Apke, DeAndre Thompkins, Chris Godwin

Names to Watch: With an offer out of the camp cycle, Ravenwood High (Brentwood, Tenn.) receiver Van Jefferson is the biggest name to keep an eye on in the early going. The 6-foot-2, 168-pound wideout spoke highly of State in a June interview with Fight On State. His father is an assistant with the Tennessee Titans, but was with the Detroit Lions previoisly. Up until last year, the younger Jefferson attended the same high school as current PSU star wideout Allen Robinson (St. Mary's).

St. Edwards High (Lakewood, Ohio) receiver David Dowell is already attracting plenty of attention — and did at University Park in June — but has yet to receive an offer. He is the twin brother of running back prostec Andrew Dowell. Paul VI (Haddock, N.J.) pass catcher Irvin Charles, who impressed at State's June 1 camp, is also waiting for a PSU offer. Middletown (Del.) receiver Elisha Sewell and June 22 camper and St. Joseph's Prep (Philadelphia, Pa.) receiver Cam Chambers round out our early watch list.

Numbers Game: Penn State put an emphasis on the position in its 2014 cycle, which makes it difficult to envision more than one receiver coming in this class. A second could be added if the prospect is an athlete-type player, someone who can excel at the next level at another position. But there are more pressing needs in this cycle.

Looking Beyond: One prospect, Benedictine High (Richmond, Va.) receiver Scott Bracey already claim a State offer in the class of 2016, and will be a name that demands attention. The other '16 pass catcher we are watching is St. Joseph Prep (Philadelphia, Pa.) 6-foot-2, 190 pound receiver Cam Chambers. He didn't earn an offer at camp this past summer, but certainly showed he may one day be worthy of one.

Tight End

Committed: None

Expected 2015 Roster: Jesse James, Brent Wilkerson, Kyle Carter, Adam Breneman

Names to Watch: Throughout the 2014 cycle, there was a lone name to watch at the position in Southern Region (Manahawkin, N.J.) prospect Mike Gesicki. Assuming his recruitment does not end up with him selecting the Lions, the position will have a few names to watch in the 2015 cycle.

It begins with Fayettvile-Manlius High (Manilus, N.Y.) Michigan legacy Tyrone Wheatley Jr, who has an offer. He is already on record as saying he will not necessarily follow directly in his father's footstep. His dad, of course, is former Wolverine Tyrone Wheatley senior, the 1992 Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year.

Outside of Wheatley, the offer board is barren, and with good reason. Without sufficient game film, it's often difficult to get a read on the full skill set of the players that call the position home. That said, one player FOS has listed on its prospect page already is Old Farms (Avon, Conn.) prospect Chris Clark. A June 22 camper, Clark caught our eye thanks to his swift hands and ability to get open in space. Fellow Connecticut prospect Matthew Kehoe is another name to keep in mind after his June 8 camp performance.

Numbers Game: With a tight end unlikely to be in the 2014 group, it's important for the Lions to get at least one in the fold in 2015, especially in O'Brien's heavy-usage system. It would also appear imperative to land a "Y" tight-end, otherwise known as the blocking end in O'Brien's system. The numbers here can change if any of the current Lion tight ends opt to turn pro early.

Looking Beyond: Currently, no players dot our 2016 big board at the position.

Fight On State Top Stories