With the exception of the news that some very high caliber players are looking very, very closely at Penn State, Nittany Lion recruiting news has been quite slow this summer. In the next couple days, LionNews will review the movement and changes that occurred at each position in the recruiting process for those prospects considering Penn State.
The move of John Bronson to tight end this fall could be a very
positive change for the offense. The fifth year senior from
Washington is big, fast, and strong. He showed his athleticism in
the spring with a couple nice receptions, but his inexperience also
surfaced with a fumble. But Bronson is one and done at the
position, leaving Penn State thin for the future. For the 2005
season, the Nittany Lions have only Isaac Smolko and Jed Hill, with the
possibility of either or both Jordan Lyons and Mike Lucian.
Penn State has aligned itself with some pretty good senior tight
ends. The Penn State coaches should be sending out fliers saying,
if your looking for an immediate impact see Joe Paterno. Both
Jonathon Hannah and Tony Moeaki have expressed an interest in Penn
State. Hannah came up to Happy Valley for the May Nike Camp and
really enjoyed himself. The rub on him though, could be distance
and his family connections to NC State. He's a terrific looking
athlete, big and strong, who does have a college body right now.
Moeaki is more of the wild card. Along with Penn State, Tony
lists Iowa, Tennessee, Notre Dame, Nebraska, and BYU (where his brother
attends school). Although we had heard that he was offered in the
spring, his most recent interview with the Insiders.com was the first
time that he had listed Penn State amongst his favorites.
Other possibilities at the position include Jeff Fitzgerald and
Everette Brown, both who are listed as defensive ends. There has
also been rumors that we have offered a big tight end from Canada, but
we have not verified those yet.
After signing six lineman with the last class, this is not a priority
for the Nittany Lions. It would be a surprise to see more than
two lineman signed in February unless a current underclassman gets
injured and cannot continue with his career like Brian Borgoyn.
LionNews has uncovered only four offensive lineman that Penn State has
offered so far -- Dennis Landolt, Dace Richardson, Eugene Monroe
(Virginia verbal) and Thomas Austin (Clemson verbal). Landolt
seems to like Penn State the most right now, though he has recently
opened up his recruiting a bit more than was expected at this
point. Richardson, a big tackle from Illinois, likes the Nittany
Lions, but they are lumped in with a big group of schools on a list
that could potentially receive an official visit.
The one wild card in this group is Philadelphia's stud lineman Marques Slocum. Easily one of the most impressive big men in the country,
Marques blends power and agility to form a wall in front of the
quarterback. Penn State has not yet offered him and it seems the
reason has been grades. If Slocum can improve his academic
standing, it would be easy to see the Nittany Lions make a full court
press. Will it be too late? We'll have to cross that bridge
when we get there but things look better now that he is playing for
West Catholic, a school with ties to Penn State.
The reputation of Tony Bernatos and Patrick Humes was enough to scare
off preferred walk-on redshirt freshman Nate Weltman. Hopefully
they're ability measures up to their legend. But with these two
youngsters vying for the back up spot behind Robbie Gould, it is
difficult to imagine Penn State handing out a scholarship to a high
school kicker unless both falter. If that is the case, both
Patrick McAfee and Kevin Kelly -- two more Pennsylvania kicking studs
-- would be more than happy to accept a Nittany Lion offer to join its
The Lion's Lounge: July (TE, OL, K)
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