Fight On State's Prospect Key:
- Penn State verbal commitment! = 5 Blue Paws
- Penn State leads or co-leads. = 4 Blue Paws
- Penn State mentioned in a "favorite" school list. = 3 Blue Paws
- Penn State mentioned. = 2 Blue Paws
- Penn State does not interest the prospect. = 1 Blue Paw
Defensive Tackle: (2-3 needed)
John Ferrera- Staten Island, N.Y. (Monsignor Farrell HS) 6-5, 255, 5.10
One of three Staten Island kids who have been courted by Penn State this year, John Ferrera received a scholarship offer from Penn State way back in March. Although Ferrera perfers defensive end or tight end, he appears very reminiscent of current Nittany Lion Scott Paxson in body type. Paxson came to Penn State as a tight end and grew into one of the best defensive tackles in the Big Ten. Ferrera has not named any leaders, but schools like Michigan State, Duke and Rutgers have offered and others like Notre Dame and Michigan have shown interest.
Jason Kates- Harrisburg, Pa. (Bishop McDevitt HS) 6-3, 320, 5.00
The big man from Bishop McDevitt has drawn the ire of some recruitniks who believe he's too slow to be a big-time player. While everyone is entitled to their opinion, college coaches see a potential run-stuffing, immovable defensive tackle with some quality coaching in Jason Kates. Kates realizes he needs to trim down and improve his conditioning, admitting that he's on a mission to lose 10-15 pounds this summer. During the spring evaluation period, he garnered offers from schools like Syracuse, Michigan State, Pittsburgh and Maryland. He has also received interest from Southern California and Virginia Tech. After initially stating he would probably leave the state for his college football, Kates has been rumored to be down to Notre Dame and Penn State, with the Irish ahead by a nose. He hopes to make an early decision.
Tom McEowen- Neshaminy, Pa. (Neshaminy HS) 6-4, 280, 5.15
The former high school teammate of Nittany Lion kicker Kevin Kelly, Tom McEowen (right) grabbed a lot of attention last season as Neshaminy HS reached the Pennsylvania AAAA state championship game against Pittsburgh Central Catholic. Despite the loss, McEowen left the game with rave reviews from many Penn State fans who had never seen him play. Another combination lineman, he is agile enough to play either defensive tackle or guard at the college level. He has made it clear that he would like to play defense, which is where Penn State projects him. McEowen recently made an unofficial visit to Penn State and enjoyed the surroundings very much. After narrowing his choices to Penn State and Florida, he planned unofficial visits to both in late July. But after thinking about it, McEowen did the inevitable and committed to the Nittany Lions. While Kelly did jump for joy when he was told his high school teammate would be joining him at Penn State, he did not pull a Grammatica and is 100 percent ready to go this fall. McEowen also had scholarship offers from schools across the map, including Maryland, North Carolina, Virginia and Georgia.
Reggie Odom- Deland, Fla. (Deland HS) 6-2, 295, 5.10
Although mentioned early on by Reggie Odom, Penn State has since faded from the fight for his services. Odom appears as if he will stay in the South after naming a top five that consisted of many of that region's traditional powers.
Ollie Ogbu- New Berlin, N.Y. (Milford Academy) 6-2, 320, 4.96
A surprise verbal, Ollie Ogbu still remains a bit of mystery man in the eyes of many Penn State fans. Technically, Ogbu was a senior at St. Joseph's By-the-Sea HS (one of the best HS names I've seen in a while), but chose to spend one year at Milford Academy in New Berlin, N.Y. to improve his status in the eyes of college recruiters. From all accounts, he is a fantastic athlete, combining both speed and strength, but is raw at the defensive tackle position. One reason could be that he lined up at fullback for high school squad. Ogbu has been compared a bit in stature to former Nittany Lion and current 49er Anthony Adams, who like Ogbu seemed as wide as he was tall. Penn State fans will get a chance to see him next spring because he will be an early enrollee, coming in for spring practice, ala Derrick Williams and Justin King. With a line full of upperclassmen on defense, he will certainly add some much needed depth his freshman year. It also doesn't hurt to have Ogbu as a Penn State ambassador at Milford Academy when 2004 All-American OL/DT Marques Slocum (a Michigan signee) show up this fall.
Jason Pinkston- Baldwin, Pa. (Baldwin HS) 6-4, 260, 4.90
Hailing from the same high school as his future coach, Dave Wannstedt, Jason Pinkston never really showed a great deal of interest in Penn State. The #6 player in the state should have a great career stopping the run in the Big East.
Phillip Taylor- Brandywine, Md. (Gwynn Park HS) 6-4, 340, 5.50
One of the most enormous human beings I have ever seen in my life, Phillip Taylor (left) displayed freakish, cat-like quickness at the State College Nike Camp. His 5.3-second shuttle time is outstanding for someone in the 340-pound range. That being said, Taylor, like the aforementioned Kates, knows that he must get himself into better shape for the college level so that he can be an every down lineman. He has accumulated a really nice list of scholarship offers from most of the East Coast's best schools, including Tennessee, Maryland, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Syracuse, and of course, Penn State. A run-stuffing, over the center defensive lineman, Taylor also has the ability and athleticism to play on the offensive side of the ball. It appears that with Penn State's apparent shortage of defensive tackles for the future, the Nittany Lions want him closing holes on running backs rather than opening them. Look for this race to come down to Penn State and Maryland. It's been rumored that Taylor's uncle has a connection to Penn State safeties coach Brian Norwood, an edge that certainly could not hurt in reeling in this Big Fish.
Johnnie Troutman- Pemberton, N.J. (Pemberton Township HS) 6-4, 270, 4.90
Johnnie Troutman is a name that has been linked with Penn State since the last recruiting class signed back in February. Another high school defensive end that projects to probably grow into a college defensive tackle. From his end spot last season for Pemberton HS, Troutman racked up 69 tackles and four sacks. Troutman, who has been offered by Penn State, Michigan State, Maryland, South Carolina, Ole Miss, Louisville, Virginia, Nebraska and Rutgers, planned to attend camp at University Park this summer for the June 25 session. While it appears that Penn State has a great shot at Troutman, he has stated that he will not make a verbal commitment until Signing Day -- a common theme among many of the recruits Penn State is involved with this year.
Defensive End: (3 needed)
Jason Adjepong- Carteret, N.J. (Carteret HS) 6-3, 254, 4.73
Because of Penn State's immediate need for defensive ends, Penn State offered Jason Adjepong early in the Spring Evaluation period. Penn State was not the only school to offer the Carteret HS stud; Adjepong has nabbed offers from up and down the East Coast, the South and the Midwest. He currently lists schools like Virginia, Virginia Tech, Mississippi State, Michigan State, Syracuse, Rutgers, North Carolina and Penn State as his offers. He stated that he's looking for a school that plays big-time football with a good defense and academic support system because it is key that he graduates. Sound like anyone? It appears the updates on him will be few and far between because he wants to spend his summer concentrating on working toward avenging last season's playoff loss. Just the type of tenacity you want to see from a end attacking the other team's quarterback. He was recently named #100 on Scout.com's Hot 100 list.
Maurice Evans- Middle Village, N.Y. (Christ the King Regional HS) 6-3, 252, 4.70
A stud defensive end from the Big Apple, Maurice Evans (right) has been another Penn State priority at the edge for some time now. So far Evans has accumulated offers from Virginia, USC, Maryland, Penn State, Miami, North Carolina, West Virginia, Nebraska, Wisconsin, Pittsburgh, Notre Dame, Boston College, Connecticut, Syracuse, Michigan State and Rutgers. It seems that every school that sees Evans on film just absolutly falls in love with his game. With All-City and All-State potential, Evans looks to explode his senior season, especially after being named the #86th best player in the country by Scout.com. Rumor on the street suggests Evans has been to Penn State at least four times unofficially.
Micah Johnson- Fort Campbell, Ky. (Fort Campbell HS) 6-2, 277, 4.90
Penn State is what I call a "yo-yo" favorite with Micah Johnson -- sometimes they're there, sometimes they're not. He's claimed to have narrowed it down to Kentucky, Louisville, Michigan, Georgia, LSU, Ohio State, Auburn, Virginia, Oklahoma, Alabama and Michigan State but then in a recent ESPN.com chat, listed the Nittany Lions again. Although he's a Virginia native, Johnson's brother attends Kentucky and it would not be a stretch to see him follow his bloodlines to Lexington. He was recently named #10 on Scout.com's Hot 100 list.
Eric Latimore- Middletown, Del. (Middletown HS) 6-6, 240, 4.80
The poster boy for why kids from small schools or small states should attend camps to prove themselves, Eric Latimore recently ventured into Pennsylvania and took the state by storm, gaining offers at both the Penn State and Pittsburgh camps. He looks like a tremendous physical speciman, but Delaware, while our first state, is about as proficient as Antarctica when it comes to producing big time D1 talent (BranDon Snow the obvious exception). Latimore looks like he'll be vying for attention from big time schools this season, especially after impressing the Nittany Lion and Panther coaching staffs in person.
Colin Neely- Bethlehem, Pa. (Freedom HS) 6-2, 245, 4.80
Colin Neely was a bit of a sleeper entering the summer camp season ranked only 48th in the state. Neely looks a bit undersized for a defensive end, and thus has been labeled a "tweener" -- too small for defensive end and too big for outside linebacker. College coaches like what they see from Neely after a solid junior campaign of 60 tackles, 10 sacks, 20 tackles for loss and four forced fumbles, which brought forth offers from Michigan State, Boston College, West Virginia, Rutgers and Akron. He had hoped to make an unofficial visit to Happy Valley sometime this summer to meet with the coaches and look at the campus. On Aug. 1, however, Neely made a verbal commitment to the Spartans of Michigan State.
Jarod Odrick- Lebanon, Pa. (Lebanon HS) 6-6, 285, 5.00
An imposing physical speciman, Jared Odrick (left) is amazingly light on his feet for a man his size. When seen in person, Odrick's body type -- long arms, room to grow, and a 4.49 shuttle -- immediately screams left tackle. However, Odrick has stated that he perfers defense, the side of the ball that Penn State has projected him at since day one. Other schools have jumped on the Odrick bandwagon after viewing his tape and hearing about his measurables -- he can bench 310 pounds, squats 530 and has posted a 27-inch vertical jump. With 40 offers in his mailbox before June even rolled around, he has cut that number down to an almost workable 15. Included on that list are Florida, Penn State, Minnesota, Miami, Georgia, Virginia, Michigan, Michigan State, Notre Dame, Virginia Tech, North Carolina, Georgia Tech, Oklahoma and USC. Odrick has not named a true leader or a top five, but Penn State, behind a solid recruiting job by defensive line coach Larry Johnson, will be there until the end for the state's #2 ranked player.
Adam Patterson- Columbia, S.C. (Richland Northeast HS) 6-3, 255, 4.85
Adam Patterson currently projects as a defensive end, but with one or two years in a college weight program that 255 could easily balloon to 285. One of South Carolina's top players in 2005, Adam lists Penn State in a large group of schools including Virginia Tech, Maryland, Michigan, South Carolina, Clemson, North Carolina State, Georgia, Auburn and Oklahoma. He admits to being completely open to all the schools recruiting him but does favor the ACC and the SEC for his college conference.
Robert Rose- Cleveland, Ohio (Glenville HS) 6-5, 240, 4.70
Robert Rose hails from the same high school that has produced notable Ohio State players QB Troy Smith, DB Donte Whitner and WR Ted Ginn. Coached by Ted Ginn Sr., Glenville HS has become a major power in Ohio high school football advancing to the state semifinals in 2004. Rose, as a junior, was a crucial part of the Tar Blooders defense and his role will, no doubt, be expanded in 2005. Recently, Ginn took some of his players and other Ohio prospects on an 11-day tour of 10 different college campuses. Rose, who lists Ohio State, Louisiana State, North Carolina and Illinois as his early favorites, claims to have an offer from Penn State, but like many of the Glenville HS kids does seem to be seriously considering the Nittany Lions.
Brian Whitmore - Chesapeake, Va. (Oscar F. Smith HS) 6-4, 240, 4.60
It's been very quiet on the Brian Whitmore front this summer. Supposedly a tremendous pass rusher, Lasch building insiders have been whispering that Penn State really loves this kid's ability to get to the quarterback. To offensive linemen he's like lightning because once he explodes past you, all that can be heard is the thunderous collision of your quarterback and turf. Right now, Penn State is one of the schools that Whitmore lists after accumulating 20 plus scholarship offers. In-state Virginia Tech appears to be sitting in the catbird seat, but Brian will probably take all five official visits before anything is decided.
Linebacker: (2-3 needed)
Navarro Bowman- Suitland, Md. (Suitland HS) 6-1, 220, 4.70
The first of five quality LBs out of Maryland, Navarro Bowman is as tough a 'backer as you will find anywhere. Not blessed with tremendous speed, Bowman has the ability to read and react from either the middle or outside linebacker positions. Last season Maryland's Defensive Player of the Year was credited with 165 tackles, 9 sacks and 3 fumble recoveries. With Ray Lewis-like numbers and the hard-nosed mentality you want in a linebacker, Bowman's mailman was busy this spring toting letters to his house. Penn State has been mentioned by Bowman in past updates, but for now he seems most interested in ACC schools like Maryland and Virginia Tech.
Parker Cantey- Brooklyn, N.Y.. (South Shore HS) 6-3, 205
After reading about Parker Cantey (right) for the first time, my initial response was, "Parker who?" Then a second later, I thought this dude looks like one tough hombre (pardon my cowboy lingo). Cantey hails from Brooklyn -- JoePa's old stomping ground -- and like many NYC football players, did not have the early season notoriaty that his abilities should have garnered. He has burst on the scene now, reeling in offers from some pretty big schools, including Wisconsin, Iowa, Syracuse, Toledo, Buffalo, Penn State, Pittsburgh, Virginia, Michigan State, Maryland, Rutgers and Connecticut. The All-Everything New York City selection had an incredible 17 sacks in 2004. While information on his interest in Penn State will be forthcoming, Cantey does fit the prototype linebacker mold that Ron Vanderlinden has brought to Happy Valley -- he's sleak, fast and aggressive.
Bani Gbadyu- Gaithersburg, Md. (Quince Orchard HS) 6-1, 210, 4.50
One of the fastest rising players on the East Coast, Bani Gbadyu (left) went from a "who?" to a "who's who!" seemingly overnight. A native of Liberia, Bani's family left that war-torn country when he was young. In America, Gbadyu has certainly found the opportunity to succeed that his homeland would not have afforded him. He fits the type of linebacker mold that many colleges love to recruit. Though he's only 210 pounds, Gbadyu hits like a dump truck and runs like a deer. He's quick enough to cover a running back one-on-one, but also strong enough to shed blocks from Big Uglies. Because of location, Larry Johnson, fellow Liberian native Tamba Hali and Joe Paterno, Penn State looked like it would be a player until the end with Gbadyu. But the young linebacker recently chose LSU over Penn State, making him the third Maryland player to pick an SEC school over the Nittany Lions.
Brandon Graham- Detroit, Mich. (Crockett HS) 6-2, 251, 4.60
Hailing from the same high school as now expelled Nittany Lion defensive tackle Ed Johnson, Brandon Graham is one of the top middle linebackers in the country. Before Johnson was expelled, it was rumored that Brandon and his coach would visit Penn State this summer. Although it still may happen, the chances are far greater that Graham will be lining up across the field from Penn State. He committed to Michigan very early in the spring.
Akeem Hebron- Wheaton, Md. (Good Counsel HS) 6-2, 198, 4.50
When watching film of Akeem Hebron, he appears more like a heat-seeking missile than a football player. The speed he possesses from Point A to Point B on the football field makes him one of the most heavily recruited players in Maryland this year. At the State College Nike Camp he ran a 4.4 40-yard dash at almost two hundred pounds. Even if he puts on 10 to 15 pounds of muscle and loses a tenth on his 40, a linebacker who runs a legit 4.5 time can completely disrupt an offense, especially when they have the ability to read and react like Hebron. Like his teammate Drew Gloster, Penn State was mentioned early by Hebron. Last week, however, Hebron called Georgia and committed to the Bulldawgs.
Jeremiha Hunter- Harrisburg, Pa. (Harrisburg HS) 6-2, 210, 4.50
Once thought to be a Michigan lock, Jeremiha Hunter's list has really opened up and Penn State is firmly entrenched in his top group. Hunter (right) fits the mold of the type of linebacker Penn State has recruited with its last three classes, ala Paul Posluszny, Dan Connor and Sean Lee. He can run, tackle, cover and most importantly RUN. Last season, he led Manheim Central HS to the Pennsylvania AAA championship game against Thomas Jefferson HS. He did not play in the game due a broken arm sustained the week before against Berwick HS, leaving Manheim Central without its "go-to guy." In the off-season, Jeremiha enrolled at Harrisburg HS. Along with Penn State and Michigan, Hunter lists Connecticut, Florida, Notre Dame, Ohio State and Tennessee. This one is too close to call, but Penn State has done an excellent job recruiting Hunter and he has been impressed enough with the school to make a number of unofficial visits. He's mentioned that he may not take an official visit to Penn State because of location and familiarity. He was recently ranked #95 on Scout.com's Hot 100 list.
Aaron Maybin- Ellicot City, Md. (Mount Hebron HS) 6-3, 220, 4.67
Aaron Maybin looks like Lavon Chisley-lite. At this point in his development, he's not even close to fully grown. Like Chisley, Maybin will enter college undersized and after a redshirt year at the training table, he may explode in weight. About four inches shorter than Chisley, Maybin projects as either an outside linebacker or defensive end, depending on the weight gain. He has very long arms that seem suited to play end, but with his speed, he can play in space and cover like a linebacker. Penn State offered early and looks like it will battle the Terps for his services.
Colin McCarthy- Clearwater, Fla. (Clearwater Catholic HS) 6-1, 210, 4.63
A native of Pennsylvania, Colin McCarthy (left) burst on the scene earlier this summer with an outstanding video highlighting his speed and aggressivess from his outside linebacker position. Immediately upon viewing the film, Penn State fans compared McCarthy to the current benchmark for Nittany Lion linebackers, Paul Posluszny. This summer, Colin camped at Penn State with the goal of leaving camp with a scholarship offer in hand. He probably would have succeeded, too, if it had not been for an ankle sprain that forced him to sit out some of the drills and run a 40-yard time well below his capabilities. After he left Penn State and his ankle nudged closer to 100 percent, McCarthy wowed the coaches at Miami and Florida State, running a 4.49 40 at the Seminoles' camp. After viewing more film on him, the Nittany Lion coaching staff offered soon after. While Penn State appears in good shape with McCarthy, it will be a tough battle to extract this speedy linebacker from the grip of sunny Florida and the lure of playing for the big three football factories in the state.
Ricky Sapp- Bamberg, S.C. (Bamberg-Ehrhardt HS) 6-5, 225, 4.70
Although the Nittany Lions offered Ricky Sapp, they were not a player for his services. On June 21, he committed to Clemson over South Carolina, Florida, Florida State and a host of other big-name programs.
Cornerback: (1 needed)
Jovani Chappell- Trotwood, Ohio (Trotwood-Madison HS) 5-8, 170, 4.50
A player who hit the radar last season after an eye-opening Elite Combine in the summer of 2004, Jovani Chappell (left) has a been stated as saying he has an interest in the Nittany Lions. While Chappell may not be a big corner, he is well put together and uses that strength to help jam and hand fight against bigger wide receivers. Like former Penn State cornerbacks David Macklin and Anthony King, he is a tiny corner back who excells in run stopping as well. He has been called a "fierce" hitter by observers that have seen him at camps and on film. It doesn't hurt that his high school coach is Maurice Douglass, who played for the Chicago Bears at corner. Scout.com's 20th ranked cornerback looks like he has Wisconsin, Purdue and West Virginia on top.
Jacques Rickerson- St. Augustine, Fla. (St. Augustine HS) 5-11, 180, 4.40
Jacques Rickerson on this list can be considered somewhat of contradiction -- Florida skill players usually are not interested in Penn State. It just does not feel natural. But it is the honest truth. Jacques and his half-brother, Brandon James (listed below), are seriously interested in the Nittany Lions. Rickerson is another athlete who can play multiple positions in college, but Tom Bradley and Co., feel he is best suited to line up at corner. With offers from Georgia, Georgia Tech, Auburn, Tennessee, Clemson and in-state Florida, Penn State fans will certainly be sweating as each update for Rickerson pops up on the Hot News. Until then, take solice in the fact that it's a guarantee, the St. Augustine boys visit Penn State for that crucial Big Ten matchup against Ohio State on Oct. 8.
Darrin Walls- Pittsburgh, Pa. (Woodland Hills HS) 6-1, 180, 4.40
Another tremendous prospect from Woodland Hills HS in suburban Pittsburgh, Darrin Walls has narrowed his choices down to Woodland Hills University (aka Michigan) and Notre Dame. Pittsburgh may also still be on his mind, though a distant third at this point. Penn State made some initial push, but faded early in the game. Walls could announce for the Wolverines or Irish by the end of the summer.
Safety: (2 needed)
Leonard Gordon- Fort Campbell, Ky. (Fort Campbell HS) 5-11, 195, 4.52
A teammate of Penn State recruit Micah Johnson, Leonard Gordon also lists the Nittany Lions, placing them higher than his teammate. Gordon is a terrific student, maintaining a 3.8 GPA with an impressive handful of advanced placement classes included. With the exception of Myron Rolle (listed below), Leonard may be the top true student/athlete that Penn State has offered. It's not very often that you see schools like Kentucky and West Virginia (fine institutions in their own right) go head to head with Princeton and Yale for a prospect. It's no surprise that Gordon's choice will be heavily based on where he can get the best education, as well as play some big-time football. So far, he has received offers from Louisiana State, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisville, West Virginia, Vanderbilt, Duke and Penn State, with additional interest from Stanford. Gordon uses his smarts in the secondary to read offenses, making him the perfect center fielder in the middle of the defense. With the need for safeties at Penn State, don't be surprised to see the Nittany Lions make a big push for Gordon.
Adrian Moten- Suitland, Md. (Gwynn Park HS) 6-2, 180
By the time Adrian Moten reaches college he may grow into an outside linebacker, but for now with his size and speed, he's best classified as a safety. One of the talks of the State College Nike Camp, Adrian was said to be the only linebacker to come close to stopping All-American LeSean McCoy. The Penn State coaches offered shortly after seeing him in person. Moten, who attends the same school as Nittany Lion recruit Phillip Taylor, also has offers from Illinois and Maryland. While Penn State appears in excellent shape with Phillip Taylor, the Terps were able to woo Moten enough to get him to commit in July.
Antwine Perez- Camden, N.J. (Woodrow Wilson HS) 6-2, 200, 4.50
Despite having Woodrow Wilson alum Elijah Robinson on its current roster, Penn State could not tempt Antwine Perez to look any closer than an unofficial visit during the spring. The stud safety from New Jersey has narrowed his choices to USC, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana State, Oklahoma, Michigan, Ohio State and Tennessee a couple weeks ago. Since then, he has further whittled his prospective universities to Michigan, USC and LSU. The Volunteers, who have his cousin (Turk McBride) on their roster, were surprisingly eliminated by Perez.
Myron Rolle- Princeton, N.J. (The Hun School) 6-2, 205
What is there to say about Myron Rolle (left) that has not already been said a thousand times. He's the kind of kid that you want as a neighbor, a son, a friend, a teammate, dating your daughter, etc. To put it in terms of Penn State fans, "He's a Penn State kind of kid." At 6-2, 205, Rolle is one of the most physically gifted kids in the country. He can run with or lock down wide receivers from his corner back spot. He can roam center field or play run support from either of the safety positions. More impressively, he's a tremendous student, whose academics are just as important to him as athletics -- 4.0 GPA and 1970 SAT (a little reminiscent of my grades!). Right now, he has narrowed his list to Oklahoma, Florida, Florida State, Miami, Michigan, Texas, Georgia, and Penn State. While Penn State did not seem to have any initial steam with Rolle, they've been quietly growing on him and moving northward on his list. At the State College Nike Camp, Myron and Derrick Williams were able to chat briefly and Rolle seemed comfortable with the Nittany Lion coaches and players. Only adding to Penn State's favor is his family connection. Both his brother and sister attened school in Happy Valley. Like Williams and Justin King, Rolle plans to enroll early so expect an August announcement from Scout.com's #1 ranked player.
Dorin Dickerson- Imperial, Pa. (West Alleghany HS) 6-3, 205, 4.60
A fantastic athlete -- big, strong, and fast -- the only knock that has been leveled against Dorin Dickerson is that he's a man without a true position. He wants to be a wide receiver, but he looks like a linebacker. Penn State liked him as a linebacker, so they did not pique his interest like Michigan and Pittsburgh. In the end, Dickerson had too many Pitt connections (Tyler Palko, C.J. Davis, location, etc.) and choose the Panthers last month.
Brandon James- St. Augustine, Fla. (St. Augustine HS) 5-9, 175, 4.30
Along with his half-brother, the aforementioned Jacques Rickerson, Brandon James (right) gives St. Augustine HS one of the best one-two punches in Florida. James is electric with the ball in his hands, accounting for almost 1,300 yards with 16 touchdowns on land and through the air. James projects as a slot-back in college but he's so versatile, there is no doubt that he could at running back and on the return teams. He currently lists Iowa, Illinois, South Carolina, Louisville and Penn State as the schools that have offered. Tom Bradley and Mike McQuery have done a terrific job selling the program to James, who has called Penn State his favorite school in a number of interviews. James has set an official visit for Oct. 8, when Penn State faces Ohio State.
Brad Kanuch- Johnstown, Pa. (Westmont-Hilltop HS) 5-11, 170, 4.40
The brother of current Penn Stater Jimmy Kanuch and nephew of defensive coordinator Tom Bradley, Brad Kanuch wowed State College Nike Camp onlookers with a smoking 4.26 forty-yard dash. While he does not have the size of his brother, he is more athletic but like the aforementioned Dorin Dickerson, Brad does not easily project to one true position on the football field. As witnessed by those same onlookers, Brad's hands do not equate to a solid wide receiver. But is he physical enough to play corner back or free safety? One place where he could immediately contribute is special teams as a kick returner. Penn State has offered Kanuch, but there has been discussion that he would like to leave Pennsylvania to play his college football. Both Virginia and Boston College have also offered him and both are recruiting him hard.
Andrew Quarless- Uniondale, N.Y. (Uniondale HS) 6-4, 225, 4.50
Not since Paris Hilton's infamous night-vision video has one person's home-made production caused such an uproar on the Internet. But in the spring, Andrew
Quarless and his website made just about everyone forget about the woman famous for being famous. A tremendous athlete, his video showcased his explosive power coming off the edge at defensive end and his ability to run past a defensive back to make a nimble catch from his tight end position. Quarless is the type of athlete who can help win football games from any number of positions. It's been rumored that the Nittany Lions were the first school to offer Quarless, who was a bit lost in the early college evaluation shuffle after transferring schools. Since then some other schools have stepped up to the plate, but it looks like a three school battle between the Nittany Lions, Virginia and Miami.
Aaron Smith- Monroeville, Pa. (Gateway HS) 6-0, 185, 4.60
The quarterback for an outstanding Gateway HS team last fall, Aaron Smith (left) never truly had the opportunity to showcase his athleticism on an every play basis. He will again line up at signal caller this fall for the Gators, but without Justin King to hand off to, the burden of playmaker falls squarely on him. In college, Smith will have the ball in his hands again, but he'll need to catch it instead of throw it. All the schools recruiting him see him as either a wide receiver or defensive back. Smith comes from a great lineage of athletes. His father, Harvey, played football for West Virginia and his uncle (and head coach), Terry, played for Penn State. He grew up cheering for Penn State and the Lions are in his top list of schools. However, many observers feel that Smith will most likely choose a destination other than Happy Valley -- Maryland or Pittsburgh -- to make a name for himself. There have been whispers lately that he might join the bandwagon of top western Pennsylvania prospects at Pittsburgh.
Pha'Terrell Washington- Waldorf, Md. (Westlake HS) 6-0, 185, 4.40
Pha'Terrell Washington began the recruiting cycle being hyped as a safety. Since that initial period, he has begun to pick up steam as a potential college running back. Last season, despite sharing the backfield, Washington gained 771 yards on just 71 carries. On defense he racked up 27 tackles and 6 picks from his safety spot. On video, Washington looks solid and will lay a helmet on you, whether he be on offense or defense. He does not shy away from any contact. Penn State offered him early in the spring and was mentioned prominently at that point, but Washington has since commited to Maryland over offers from PSU, Florida, Boston College and others..
Names to Keep an Eye On:
Minor- Richmond, Va. (Varina HS)
||6-0, 215, 4.50
||RB from MRob's HS; may have a
Nittany Lion offer.
N.J. (South HS)
||6-0, 205, 4.55
||Stud running back with PSU ties
but has not been offered. Grades?
King- Doylestown, Pa. (Central Bucks West HS)
||6-2, 235, 4.60
||Stud fullback will probably see
offer if PSU takes a FB.
N.J. (Bayonne HS)
||6-3, 180||Silky smooth WR from Jerome
Md. (Good Counsel HS)
||6-2, 200, 4.50
||Broke leg last season, so
schools have been slow to offer.
Wilson- New Hampton,
N.H. (New Hampton Prep)
||6-2, 185, 4.40
||Blew up at the State College
Nike Camp. Very smooth wide receiver.
Conn. (Hyde Leadership HS)
||6-6, 275, 4.75
||Willie Harriot's teammate has
some big time offers. UVA/UMD lead.
Langhorne, Pa. (Neshaminy HS)
||McEowen's teammate who projects
at a guard position in college.
N.Y. (New Milford Prep)
||6-6, 305, 5.00
||Prep School guard who Penn State
will evaluate this fall.
||6-5, 295, 5.20||Will camp at Penn State this
summer in hopes of a 'ship.
||McKenzie Matthews- Syracuse,
N.Y. (Christian Brothers Acad)
||High motor defensive end who
comes from a top school.
Ohio (Euclid HS)
||6-3, 205, 4.50
||Classic Mich/Osu battle who has
Robinson- Scotland, Pa. (Veterans Children School)
||6-2, 205, 4.50
||Athletic linebacker has been
very quiet this spring. May have PSU offer.
||Ke'Mon Bailey- Richmond,
Va. (Huguenot HS)
||Another Huguenot HS player who
Penn State interests Penn State.
Bellamy- Greenbelt, Md. (Roosevelt HS)
||6-0, 185, 4.40
||DWill's HS teammate who
performed well at Nike.
Pa. (Bishop McDevitt HS)
||5-10, 170, 4.50
||May have an offer from Penn
State. Small but tough at corner.
Carter- Pottsgrove, Pa. (Pottsgrove HS)
||6-3, 195, 4.55
||Great athlete who has been
receiving PSU interest lately.
Pittsburgh, Pa. (Shaler HS)
||6-2, 208, 4.60
||HS QB who projects elsewhere.
Johnson- Youngstown, Ohio (Cardinal Mooney HS)
||6-2, 185, 4.50
||Ohio athlete has mentioned Penn
Conn. (Hyde Leadership HS)
||6-0, 175, 4.30
||Another Harriot teammate, Nixon
Robinson- Lebanon, Pa. (Cedar Crest HS)
||5-11, 200, 4.43
||A fav of Lancaster-area
observers, he is solidly built and fast.
Hutchins- Williamsport, Pa. (Loyalsock HS)
||Has been offered a walk-on spot
as a punter.