At the end of each month, LionNews puts together an up to the minute offers/interests page, tabbed the Lion's Lounge--a place where Penn State fans can come and find out what has transpired with Nittany Lion recruits over the last months.
LionNews' Prospect Key:
- Penn State
Penn State leads or co-leads.
- Penn State
is very much in the picture.
State is barely in the picture.
Prospect choose other than Penn State.
- Penn State has
not currently offered.
- Incomplete information exists.
Currently it is unclear how many athletes Penn State will sign with its class of 2008--there
has been speculation about early enrollers, grey shirts, and fifth year
seniors not returning. Until more information becomes available,
it is no more than speculation.
1. Matt Hahn- Melville, Ny.
(St. Anthony's HS) 6-1, 215
Projected as a running back or fullback, Matt helped lead St. Anthony's
to a terrific season. This season he ran for 2,036 yards and 36 touchdowns.
When Matt committed to Penn State back in February 2003, he kicked
off what has been one of the best collection of talents that Penn State has
put together. If Matt does not work out at on the offensive side of
the ball, he showed tremendous instincts and skills at linebacker during
St. Anthony's championship game on MSG.
2. Greg Harrison- Shenandoah,
Pa. (Shenandoah Valley HS) 6-5, 295
"Once I commit, this is going to be my team. You're
only as good as the [people] you surround yourself with, so I wanted
to surround myself with the best athletes possible." - Greg Harrison
said of his recruiting class in an August 1st article by the Daily
Greg made the Penn State coaching staff and fans thrilled
when he gave his verbal commitment to Penn State on the day of the
Blue White Game. He has been doubly important to Penn State's
current class--he is a stud offensive lineman and has acted as a sort
of liason/recruiter for Penn State. He rivals Erie lineman Kyle
Mitchum as the top trench guy in Pennsylvania, although TheInsiders Midwest
evaluator, Chris Pool, ranked Greg as the seventh
best player in the entire region. The 1st Team All-State
(A) selection has been projected as a guard on the next level,
but could play tackle.
3. Wyatt Bowman- Mechanicsburg,
Pa. (Cumberland Valley HS) 6-6, 315
"The closer we are now, the closer we'll be up
there and that's key in a winning football team." - Wyatt Bowman
said of his class in a August 1st article by the Daily
If it weren't for an inch or two and a couple pounds, it
would be difficult to make the distinction between Wyatt and Greg
Harrison. Both are stud lineman. Both committed on the
day of the Blue-White Game. And both have formed a friendship
that will be the backbone of this class. On the field, Wyatt projects
as your prototypical tackle, with long arms and great feet. What
separates him from some of the larger offensive lineman Penn State has
brought in over the last ten years is his nasty misdemeanor. Earlier
this spring at Penn State's Nike Camp, the coaches who worked with the
offensive lineman named him the best lineman at the camp, which led to
Wyatt being named Student Sports Nike Football Training Camp All-Americans.
4. Dontey Brown- McKeesport,
Pa. (McKeesport HS) 6-3, 245
"The kid's an animal. He kills people
whenever he hits." - A.Q. Shipley on Dontey's playing style
A true middle linebacker, Dontey hails from the same school as former
Nittany Lion Brandon Short. Described by many who see him as tough
as nails, Dontey surprised many Pennsylvania observers when he committed
to the Nittany Lions back in April over Pitt. The 1st Team All-State
(AAAA) at linebacker led McKeesport with 93 tackles (65 solos) and
5. Tony Davis- Warren, Oh. (Howland
HS) 5-11, 180
"Tony has been a true leader for the Howland football program
since the very first day he stepped foot in the school. He played a
major role in steering our program in a new direction." - Dick Angle
Before committing to Penn State, Tony was not even a blip on the radar
of most Ohio high school football watchers. Davis had a terrific senior
season, garnering Trumbell Country Player of the Year and the Associated
Press Co-offensive Player of the Year for Ohio's Division II. Although
he'll be a cornerback at Penn State, Tony actually made his mark on offense
this season, rushing for 1,818 yards and 17 touchdowns. Tony choose
Penn State over Pittsburgh, Michigan State and Wisconsin. While Michigan
did not offer, the Wolverines continued to flirt with Tony right through
the summer months.
6. Spencer Ridenhour- White Plains,
Ny. (White Plains HS) 6-0, 215
Named to Student Sports Nike Football Training Camp All-Americans
earlier this summer, Spencer turned everyone's heads with his size,
speed, and agility. A strong safety on defense, you will be
hard pressed to find a more imposing looking player outside of
a NFL training camp. The early knock on Spencer is that he doesn't
play against a high level of competition. Those who have seen
him live and in the flesh, know that Spencer will be an enforcer in the
Nittany Lion secondary for years to come.
7. A.Q. Shipley- Corapolis,
Pa. (Moon HS) 6-3, 278
"He's going to be tearing through kids if
he works hard. He was lighting kids up up there, left
and right." - Greg Harrison on A.Q.'s Michigan State
A future nose guard at Penn State, A.Q. may be, pound
for pound, the strongest player in Pennsylvania. A.Q. joins
the list of Nittany Lions who named to Student Sports Nike Football
Training Camp All-Americans.
After a terrific senior year in which he amassed 42 tackles, 15 tackles
for loss, and 2 sacks, A.Q. was named both 1st Team All-State (AAA)
and as a member of the Pittsburgh Post Gazette's "Fab 22." Because
of his work ethic and intense motor, A.Q. could be a major help to a defensive
line that struggled mightily in 2003.
8. Jed Hill - Struthers, Oh. (Struthers
HS) 6-4, 247
"He said that (Jed's) a freak of nature. He's
a mammoth. There's no body fat on him. He's just something
else." - Coach Gary Zetts recounting Nebraska defensive coordinator
Bo Pelini's comments
Jed fills at least part of Penn State's dire need for a
tight end in this class. A true unknown coming into the summer,
Jed received the only offer he really wanted during Penn State's summer
camp. After missing nearly his entire junior year, Jed posted a very
good senior year.
9. Mike Lucian- Frederick, Md. (Linganore
HS) 6-3, 255
A versatile big man, Mike projects for a couple different
positions on the college level. He plays tight end in high school,
but Mike could get a look at defensive end, defensive tackle, or offense
line in college; he's hoping he gets a shot somewhere on the
defensive line. His position is contingent on his physical maturation
over the next year (his dad is 6'6'' or 6'7'') and Mike is just 16 years
old. TheInsiders Atlantic Region analyst ranks Mike as the number
twelve player in Maryland next year.
10. Dan Lawlor- Mechanicsburg,
Pa. (Cumberland Valley HS) 6-3, 235
A well rounded fullback, Dan's coach compares him
favorably to former CVHS star Jon Ritchie. It appeared that Dan
was leaning toward Notre Dame during the early period of his recruitment,
but with teammate Wyatt Bowman extolling the virtues of Penn State on
a daily basis, Dan couldn't help but see the light of day. With
Sean McHugh and Paul Jefferson (unless he redshirts) on the roster, Dan
could be a prime candidate for very early playing time. After a terrific
junior year, Dan made 2nd Team All-State (AAAA) linebacker despite
putting up big numbers from his fullback position.
11. Austin Hinton- Secaucus, Nj. (Secaucus
HS) 6-4, 280
Austin's name first surfaced when Tom Lemming named
him as the preseason#13 overall tackle. While the Lemster
may not be the recruiting god that he perceives himself to be, he did
recognize Austin's quickness and tremendous footwork. Austin gives
Penn State another agile offensive lineman, most likely beginning his
career at guard. LionNews' MarshCreek talked with a coach who
worked with Austin at Penn State camp and he said that Hinton is a very
athletic, but raw offensive lineman. After a redshirt year, Austin
should be ready to block for another Austin.
12. Mark Rubin- Amherst, Ny. (Amherst
HS) 6-4, 210
"Coach (Dick) Anderson said that I reminded
him of Joe Jurevicus. That's great to be mentioned with a
great receiver like that." - Mark, explaining Penn State's offensive
line coach's comments
Mark did not have any major D1 offers (just MAC cellar
dweller Buffalo) heading into summer camp season. In a short
time period, Rubin wowed the coaches at Boston College, Syracuse, and
Penn State enough that each coaching staff offered him a scholarship.
Mark, a long time Penn State fan, decided to jump on the Nittany
Lions' offer almost immediately, despite keeping it a secret until he
could tell Syracuse. A tall receiver, Mark has lowered his 40 yard
speed from the 4.6 range last season, down to the 4.45 area now. During
his senior season, Mark set or broke (more like shattered) many of the receiving
records of western New York state. Some more skeptical "fans" may be
calling Mark a stretch, but for someone who has not focused his complete
attention on football yet, his future looks very bright.
13. Trent Varva- Lake Orion, Mi.
(Lake Orion HS) 6-3, 300
"He's a mauler. He's got the size, speed,
and strength and he uses it. There's no messing around."
- Lake Orion HS coach Chris Bell on Trent
While Trent's critics say he may have maxed out
his potential, especially compared to teammate and Michigan commit,
Will Johnson, he's a great get for the Nittany Lions. If you have
seen film of both Will and Trent, you'll why the coaching staff is
thoroughly excited about this youngster. Another quick and tough
lineman, Trent brings versatility to the line--he can play center or
guard for the Nittany Lions. Trent had a terrific senior season, which
propelled him to the prestigious Detroit Free Press Dream Team.
14. Rich Ohrnberger- East Meadow, Ny. (East
Meadow HS) 6-3, 275
"Coach Anderson said to me, when he was watching
him move and watching him do the things he was asking him to do, he
kept seeing Mike Munchak." - East Meadow HS coach Vinny Macia
A candidate to play either offensive line or defensive
line, Rich was an unknown heading into this year because he only weighed
in the ballpark of 220 pounds. After adding 55 pounds through
hard work and maturation, Rich was able to keep his 4.9 speed despite
the additional weight. Although Rich had offers from Syracuse and
Boston College, he jumped at the Penn State offer. He helped East Meadow
HS rebound from a series of poor records, allowing him the chance to play
in the Nassau Country All-Star game in which he amassed 18 pancake blocks.
He also was named the top lineman in Nassau County (Martone Award)
and top player in Nassau County (Thorpe Award), becoming only the third lineman
to win the award.
15. Josh Gaines- Fort Wayne, In. (Northrup
HS) 6-3, 255
"There aren't too many kids at 260 pounds who can do what he can do
athletically." - Northrup HS coach Matt Stinson
on Josh from Fort Wayne's The News-Sentinal
Talk about a perfect example of "mother knows best,"
Josh admitted to LionNews that his mom wanted him to go to Penn State
while his dad favors Michigan State. Josh's commitment came
as a bit of a surprise, but after visiting Penn State his whole family
fell in love with what the Nittany Lions could offer him. A jumbo
athlete, Josh can play multiple positions but defensive end seems
to be his likely final destination. Josh was named 5A
Defensive Player of the Year in Indiana this season.
16. Dan Connor- Wallingford, Pa. (Strath Haven HS)
"He's the best all-around (high school) football player
I've ever seen. Aside from his physical capabilities, the man--he's
not a boy--never gets tired. In big games, he takes over. On both sides
of the ball, he can absolutely dominate a game." - Upper Darby coach,
Rich Gentille, on Dan in the Delco
The best linebacker to come from Pennsylvania in a long time
(maybe since Lavar Arrington), Dan chose the Nittany Lions earlier this
year over Notre Dame and Michigan. Dan has been on D1 radars since
early in his career, helping lead Strath Haven HS to three straight Pennsylvania
AAA Championship games. Although Strath Haven fell short this season,
falling to Manheim Central, Dan still had a terrific senior year--so good
he was named AAA Player of the Year. An athletic linebacker
with tremendous aggressiveness, Dan plays like the son of a coach, exhibiting
text book fundamentals. Dan steps into a great situation at linebacker
for Penn State with six 'backers graduating in the next two seasons.
Dan is poised for early playing in the Blue and White.
17. Gerald Cadogen- Portsmouth,
Oh. (Portsmouth HS) 6-7, 310
"Gerald had a great year. He really cam along. I was a college offensive
lineman and ended up in a few pro training camps so I know line play. This
is a special one." - Portsmouth HS coach Curt Clifford
A model left tackle, Gerald choose Penn State over Michigan, Northwestern,
and Boston College in early August. Although he visited Ohio State
for the Buckeyes clash with Purdue, Gerald is firmly committed to the Nittany
Lions. Gerald was named 1st Team All-State after his senior season.
18. Tyrell Sales- Butler, Pa. (Butler HS) 6-3,
Despite playing for a very underachieving Butler HS squad, Tyrell had
a very good senior season, racking up 96 tackles, 11 for a loss, four sacks,
causing four fumbles and two interceptions in 2003. Although he did
not make any post season team or award, Tyrell still seems poised for a
nice college career. Many observers who have seen him play, rave about
his athletic ability, but insist he just needs a bit of refinement to become
a dominant player. Tyrell, who is also having a terrific senior basketball
campaign, choose Penn State over Pittsburgh, Ohio State, and Virginia.
19. Kevin Suhey- State College, Pa. (State College
HS) 6-2, 195
"I've been a big Penn State fan since I was little, so it's always been
a dream to play up there. I can see the (Beaver Stadium) from outside
of my bedroom window. I go to bed every night looking at it." -
Kevin stated in his December 7th LionNews update
Grandson, son, and nephew of former Penn State greats, Kevin has
Nittany Lion blue in his blood. A good athlete, Kevin lead State College
HS to within one game of the PIAA Quad-A Championship game. Currently,
Kevin's future remains a bit clouded. It's a definite he will be a
Nittany Lion, but will Kevin greyshirt (enrolling in January 2005) or will
he join the squad in the summer? Also, despite being known as a high
school quarterback, Kevin could also play safety at the next level. Either
way, Penn State picked up a great athlete and leader, poised to bring Penn
State back to the days of its dominance.
20. Paul Ciancolo- Fort Dorchester, Sc. (Fort Dorchester
HS) 6-5, 228
Penn State's first true quarterback commit since Chris Ganter,
Paul was a virtual unknown until putting together a stellar senior season.
Paul threw for over 3,100 yards and 30 touchdowns. Although
he declines to name his other two scholarship offers, Paul garnered a lot
of interest from large schools since the beginning of his senior season.
Despite being considered a prototypical drop-back passer, Paul has
enough athleticsm to move to tight end if warranted. Paul has a brother
at the Air Force Academy and his father is an Air Force pilot.
more to come........