Shifting Focus: Juniors Visit

<P>With letter-of-intent day for the Class of 2005 not even a day behind us, the Nittany Lion brain trust has already turned much of its attention to the Class of 2006. PSU is holding its first Junior Day of the winter this Saturday. Read on to learn about some of the young stars who are coming.

One of these years the NCAA will step in and start protecting major college football coaches from themselves. Until it happens, staffs at places like Penn State will continue to work to the point of exhaustion in pursuit of high school talent.

With letter-of-intent day for the Class of 2005 not even a day behind us, the Nittany Lion brain trust has already turned much of its attention to the Class of 2006. PSU is holding its first Junior Day of the winter this Saturday. Read on to learn about some of the young stars who are coming:

In all, somewhere between 20-22 juniors will make unofficial visits to Happy Valley this weekend.

The most well-known of the bunch is Pat Devlin, a 6-foot-4, 205-pound quarterback from Downingtown East High in suburban Philadelphia. Devlin won first-team All-State honors from the Associated Press as a junior. He has thrown for more than 5,000 yards in his career.

Devlin already has scholarship offers from Maryland, Rutgers and Virginia.

Jared Odrick from Lebanon (Pa.) High is also slated to make the trip to University Park. Scout.com analyst Bob Lichtenfels described the 6-6, 295-pounder as one of the most impressive defensive linemen at the Penn State Nike Combine last spring.

Scooting down Interstate 80 from the Coal Region will be running back Brant Quick of Berwick (Pa.) High. The athletic 5-9, 175-pounder is the all-time leading rusher in the history of the powerhouse Berwick program and still has a full season of football left. He was a first-team AAA All-State pick last season.

Spending considerably more time on I-80 before arriving at Penn State will be Maurice Evans, a 6-3, 245-pound defensive end from Christ the King High in Brooklyn, N.Y.. Evans was a first-team All-Catholic League pick as a junior.

Those are only a few of the players who will be on campus. We’ll provide updates on others as that information become available.

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