Haskins Has Eye on the Lions

Potomac, Md., Bullis School sophomore passer will soon throw for the Penn State staff following his recent visit to University Park.

Penn State is playing it slow when it comes to recruiting quarterbacks in the Class of 2016. It has no reason to rush.

The Nittany Lions landed five-star passer and current starter Christian Hackenberg in the Class of 2013. In the Class of 2014, it secured commitments from Canada native Michael O'Connor and Virginia signal caller Trace McSorley.

No Class of 2015 signal callers have pledged to join the program yet, though it remains in hot pursuit of Jersey City, N.J., St. Peter's Prep quarterback Brandon Wimbush. In the Class of 2016, just Pennsylvania passer Brandon McIlwain has an offer.

That doesn't mean State isn't actively recruiting the position for the future, though. It watched New York sophomore Jake Zembiec throw in April, and has stopped by the schools of a few others. The list includes Potomac, Md., Bullis School Class of 2016 QB Dwayne Haskins, who visited Penn State Friday-Saturday.

"Penn State is a great football program," Haskins said. "It was definitely astonishing walking in their stadium and meeting [head] Coach [James] Franklin and the coaching staff.

"It was definitely fun and I can definitely see myself playing there in the future years. Penn State is a great academic school and great athletic school."

Haskins also picked out the State College community as something that impressed him, saying he was surprised by how much it supports the football program and the school in general. Franklin left a similarly pleasing impression, he added.

"Coach Franklin is very animated," Haskins said. "I like that in a coach because I try to model what a coach does and I like to talk a little bit and be a good leader.

"Coach Franklin is a very cool guy. [It was] the first time meeting him and it kind of blew me away a little bit."

The sophomore has offers 14 programs to date, and though Penn State is not one of them, that may change soon. The Lions, likely in the form of quarterbacks coach Ricky Rahne, will watch him throw this Thursday.

It'll be a workout similar to the one Hackenberg performed for dozens of coaches, including Penn State's old staff. Haskins said he has followed Hackenberg.

Both spoke highly of the Lions, Haskins said. Combined with his visit experience, the sophomore has the Lions on his radar.

"Christian Hackenberg is a guy I pay attention to," Haskins said. "He's the number one quarterback in the Class of 2013 and I look at him and say ‘wow, maybe I can be him one day'; especially him going to Penn State and not being the second guy but the number one guy."

Scout.com's Sam Hellman conducted this interview.


Fight On State Top Stories