The Lion's Lounge: July (TE, OL, K)

Who are the Penn State coaches zeroing in on? Which bluechips have we offered? Find out all you need to know about Penn State recruiting in this edition of the Lion's Lounge, the most complete and fun source for Penn State targets on the internet.

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.

Tight End:
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 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.

Offensive Line:
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 squad.

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