A Whip Around the Scout 300

Get the Penn State perspective on the network's list of top players for the Class of 2015. Linemen and LBs are two areas of focus.

The Scout 300 for the Class of 2015 was released recently. Of the 300, 43 claim interest in (and/or from) Penn State.

Here are some of the key prospects from the Scout 300 to keep and eye on as the recruiting process unfolds.


No. 10: Ricky DeBerry

Position: LB

School: St Christopher's School (Richmond, Va.)

Measurables: 6-foot-2, 235

The Lowdown: One of the earliest 2015 prospects to receive an offer from PSU, DeBerry has become one of the most coveted linebacker prospects in the nation, already holding 42 offers. He made 55 stops in 2012, and with a five-star ranking, possesses speed, power and sideline-to-sideline ability according to Scout's Michael Clark.

State Situation: The Lions could have more of a need than expected at the position if a replacement is not found for Jared Wangler, who de-commited from the Lions' Class of 2014 in August. DeBerry visited University Park for a summer gathering this year, and told Scout in July that he has developed a strong relationship with PSU's staff. Penn State will need to survive his initial cut with a bunch of big-time programs jockeying for position, but it started off on the right foot.


No. 26: Tristen Hoge

Position: OL

School: Highland Senior High (Pocatello, Idaho)

Measurables: 6-foot-5, 287 pounds

The Lowdown: When Hoge arrived at University Park for a mid-June camp, he was relatively unheard of. That quickly changed after a summer of dominating performances, and he now stands at 10 offers heading into the fall. The junior-to-be can play center, guard and tackle.

State Situation: Hoge spoke glowingly about the Lions after his visit to campus, but he shuttled off to Notre Dame shortly after and has been high on the Fighting Irish ever since. It's probably too early to completely rule out PSU, but the Irish have staked out a commanding lead to land the nation's top 2015 guard.


No. 45: Christian Wilkins

Position: DT

School: Suffield Academy (Conn.)

Measurables: 6-foot-4, 290 pounds

The Lowdown: The eighth-ranked DT in his cycle, Wilkins projects as a 3-technique tackle according to Scout's Brian Dohn (though Wilkins noted he can also play outside in an interview with Dohn). Quickness and power are the hallmark of his scouting report, and he also plays offense for Suffield.

State Situation: After earning an offer in April, Wilkins has been rather quiet about Penn State. But the same goes for most of the other programs recruiting him. The Lions added New Jersey DT Antoine White in the Class of 2014, but they'll need at least one player at the position for the Class of 2015. Wilkins is now up to nine offers, and a trip to University Park would help solidify his interest in the program.


No. 62: Sterling Jenkins

Position: OT

School: Baldwin High (Pittsburgh, Pa.)

Measurables: 6-foot-8, 305 pounds

The Lowdown: Rated the fifth-best tackle of the cycle, he stands out on film thanks to his explosion off the ball. Dohn notes that his raw athleticism and length in pass protection are bonuses, too. He's up to 10 offers, and Big Ten foes Michigan and Ohio State join the Lions in that list.

State Situation: Tackles, tackles, tackles. Penn State needs them in the next couple of classes. Two would be ideal in the Class of 2014, but it's increasingly looking more and more likely that Scranton Prep (Pa.) standout Noah Beh will be the lone one in that cycle. Jenkins also trekked to University Park for Penn State's summer cook-out, and the Lions sit well in the early stages. The prospect noted Penn State's staff, Beaver Stadium and academics as the things that impress him most about PSU at this point.


No. 70: Matthew Burrell

Position: OT

School: C.D. Hylton High (Woodbridge, Va.)

Measurables: 6-foot-6, 285 pounds

The Lowdown: Clark notes the sixth-ranked tackle is tireless at the point of attack and plays with good leverage in the trenches. Combined with his ability to finish blocks and manhandle opposing defenders, Burrell has garnered 19 verbal scholarship offers already and more are likely to come.

State Situation: Like Jenkins, Burrell joins the crowd of prospects O'Brien and company have discovered and evaluated at offensive tackle, clearly making it a priority in this cycle. In an interview with Fight On State, Burrell said he was impressed with O'Brien's NFL coaching background. He also explained that he watched the Lions growing up, and was a fan of the late Joe Paterno. Burrell is in the preliminary stages of his recruitment despite his sizable offer list.


No. 76: Minkah Fitzpatrick

Position: CB

School: St. Peters Prep (Jersey City, N.J.)

Measurables: 6-foot, 180 pounds

The Lowdown: Easily the best athlete on the turf fields outside Holuba Hall at Penn State's June 1 camp, Fitzpatrick combines a strong on-field IQ with quick hips and an ability to read and react to plays. He is the nation's eighth-best cornerback prospect and holds a four-star rating.

State Situation: "Blown-away" was how Fitzpatrick described his summer excursion to PSU, and he also was a big fan of the Lions' coaching staff and players. Safeties coach Anthony Midget is the point man, meaning he is acutely aware of the fact that the Lions will still be looking for secondary additions in 2015. With hopes of making a return visit this fall, he's a name to watch closely.


No. 87: Jerome Baker

Position: OLB

School: Benedictine (Cleveland, Ohio)

Measurables: 6-foot-1, 205 pounds

The Lowdown: Baker exploded onto the recruiting scene when Penn State, Ohio State, Florida and Louisville all offered him on the same day in April. Since then, Michigan and Michigan State have both since joined the pursuit of the nation's eighth-ranked outside linebacker.

State Situation: Baker tabbed Michigan, Ohio State and Penn State "the three big ones" in an interview with FOS sister site Go Blue Wolverine, and he informed writer Kyle Bogenschutz that he will visit all three schools this fall. The junior-to-be fits into the same category as DeBerry at OLB, and told GBW that he isn't necessarily an Ohio State lock, even if he is a Buckeye State prospect. Baker later told Scout that Penn State, along with OSU, were his "two main schools" growing up. At least for now, the Lions sit in fine shape.


No. 93: Andre Robinson

Position: RB

School: Bishop McDevitt (Harrisburg, Pa.)

Measurables: 5-foot-11, 190 pounds

The Lowdown: Watch Robinson in person, and it quickly becomes apparent why the newly minted four-star back already has seven offers. He packs a burst of speed that gives him the ability to kick away from defenders at the end of long runs, and also a soft set of hands that makes him useful in the passing game.

State Situation: With recent developments making New York back Qadree Ollison an option for the Lions, it causes one to pause and ponder if Penn State will even need a running back in its Class of 2015. That said, Robinson is a serious playmaker, and knows and likes plenty about the Lions thanks to his central Pennsylvania roots. How he develops in his junior year will play a large role in where his recruitment with Penn State goes.


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