New Penn State head coach James Franklin has worked the phones, and the wheel, and hopped on a plane to fill out the remaining spots in the Lions' latest recruiting cycle, and his staff has been along for the ride. As of late Monday, the program has secured the verbal pledge of five former Vanderbilt commitments, including two on a busy Monday.
The five, Ohio OT Chance Sorrell, Illinois OT Brendan Brosnan, Virginia QB Trace McSorley, Kentucky DE Lloyd Tubman, and Georgia CB Grant Haley, join a host of prospects Franklin has extended offers to since his arrival. We break those uncommitted but being checked out by the program below.
And then there were..
Getting a grasp on how many spots Penn State has left in this cycle has continued to prove challenging, but with the number of recruits that have offer, it could be a first come, first serve scenario. But, if gray shirting becomes an option, the number left could go. Of course, the believed departure of Rahway (N.J.) linebacker Donte Raymond Monday night opens up a spot, but after that, it gets murky. For now, we'll say Penn State has at least a few spots left, but again, the number has been difficult to pin down.
Regardless, below is a breakdown and thoughts on the recruits on the board. As a disclaimer, I am fairly certain I will forget to include someone. So, feel free to rake me over the coals and I will add and expound upon realization of my error:
Englishtown (N.J.) Manalapan WR Saeed Blacknall: A Rutgers commit, it's been confirmed that Blacknall visited University Park Sunday and that puts the Lions in play to land him. Blacknall is suppose to visit Rutgers officially this coming Saturday but Penn State is trying to convince him to visit then, too. It's the last weekend for him to visit, as the four-star will compete in the Texas vs. Nation All-Star game Jan. 31.
Forestville (Md.) Bishop McNamara OT Damian Prince: A four-star with a massive offer list, Prince's head coach confirmed to FOS Monday that the prospect does indeed have an offer from the Lions, and as we reported Monday morning, there's a chance he could visit for State's big recruiting weekend this Saturday. At this time, though, that hasn't been confirmed.
Owning Mills (McDonagh, Md.) OT Jared Cohen: A name that received a late Penn State offer from the old staff, Cohen spoke with Franklin this past Saturday but hasn't heard anything since. Where he fits into the picture at this point is a bit unclear, but it's likely to be worked out based on what happens with Prince. Cohen added Franklin told him he's going to try to get a member of the staff out to Owning Mills this week.
Sherman Oaks (Calif.) Notre Dame S Koa Farmer: Having recently received a Wisconsin offer, Farmer remains committed to California but is clearly a prospect picking up major steam heading down the stretch. He told FOS sister site Badger Report Monday that he is still debating whether he will visit Vanderbilt or Penn State this coming weekend.
Murfreesboro (Tenn.) Oakland S Emmanuel Smith: A four-star, Smith is off to Vanderbilt this weekend, where he remains committed, to meet with new head coach Derek Mason. If he makes it out without announcing a confirmed, solidified commitment to the Commodores, we'll say Penn State has a shot to a Jan. 31 visit and possible commitment. But, at this time, he doesn't have a trip planned north, he confirmed to FOS Monday.
Monroeville (Pa.) Gateay S Montae Nicholson: Could this old face be back on the table? With former Gateway head coach and Temple assistant Terry Smith reportedly joining the Lions' staff, we think it's a fair possibility that the Lions could take a run at him. Currently committed to Michigan State, Nicholson did not respond to messages seeking comment.
Check out several more updates and discuss PSU's recruiting at the link below...