Thursday, February 21, 2013
Visitors' list: Lots of talent heading to PSU
By Josh Moyer
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- Penn State's junior day this weekend figures to be more intimate than in years past.
With fewer scholarships, the coaching staff didn't need to invite 60 recruits to Happy Valley. Instead, it seems to be focusing more on a core group of individuals it feels are scholarship-worthy.
One high school coach jokingly referred to Saturday as "double, top-secret day" because Penn State's staff politely declined allowing an invited player to bring up one of his teammates. They just weren't that interested -- and, the high school coach said, he was told it was simply because the Nittany Lions were looking for scholarship players right now.
So, on Saturday, Bill O'Brien will be hosting players that could very well wind up with a PSU offer in the near future. There's bound to be a few future Nittany Lions in the crowd, so here are the visitors whom NittanyNation confirmed:
(Italics denotes a PSU scholarship offer.)
QB J.J. Cosentino (Pittsburgh/Central Catholic): He's a 6-5 pocket-passer who already holds an offer from Florida State.
RB Jonathan Thomas (Danvers, Mass./St. John's Prep): He goes to the same high school that Bill O'Brien attended, and he is the son of a high school coach.
RB Rob Martin (Harrisburg, Pa./Harrisburg): Penn State was on him early, and he's a big fan of Bill O'Brien because of his NFL connections.
RB Mark Allen (Hyattsville, Md./DeMatha Catholic): He's the first commit of the 2014 class, and he said he felt it was his responsibility to help persuade a few others to commit in the near future.
RB Jonathan Hilliman (Jersey City, N.J./St. Peter's Prep): He holds more than two dozen offers, so he plans to start cutting out schools after making a few more visits.
RB Dravon Henry (Aliquippa, Pa./Aliquippa): PSU QB coach Charlie Fisher has really made Henry a priority, so Henry's father said his son wanted to check out junior day to learn more about PSU.
WR Troy Apke (Pittsburgh/Mount Lebanon): His father was a Pitt linebacker, and he can reportedly run a 4.4.
WR Chris Godwin (Middletown, Del./Middletown): Penn State started recruiting him before O'Brien was on staff, and he ran the 40 in a NIKE camp in 4.48 seconds.
OT Mike Grimm (Bethel Park, Pa./Bethel Park): He dominated at the U.S. Army National Combine by winning 10 of his 12 one-on-ones, and he has offers from the likes of Alabama.
OL (Soph.) Rob Dowdy (Westerville, Ohio/South): He's just a sophomore but he said he'll be visiting this weekend; he also holds an offer from Indiana already.
DE Noah Beh (Scranton, Pa./Prep): PSU initially looked at him as an offensive lineman, but the staff changed its collective mind after seeing film of what he did on defense. He didn't really start playing football until he was a freshman either, according to his coach.
DT Jaleel Fields (Aliquippa, Pa./Aliquippa): He said he'd prefer to play somewhere down South; Bill O'Brien stopped by his high school about a month ago.
DT Antoine White (Millville, N.J./Millville): His coach said Penn State's been by a few times. He weighs in at 260 pounds, but he's been able to push people around at that weight.
LB Chase Winovich (Jefferson Hills, Pa./Thomas Jefferson): He already holds offers from the likes of Florida State and Northwestern, and he's pretty quick for a 6-foot-4 linebacker.
LB Christian Lezzer (Clearfield, Pa./Clearfield): He's a versatile player, and he reports running a 4.63 in the 40.
LB/RB Ryley Angeline (Exton, Pa./Downington East): Running back is his primary position, but some schools want him as an LB. He's a Zach Zwinak type of runner; he's 6-foot-3 and runs a 4.62 according to his coach.
LB Troy Reeder (Wilmington, Del./Salesianum): He's a big name in the lacrosse recruiting scene, and PSU linebackers coach Ron Vanderlinden has remained in close contact with him.
LB Nate Stone (Greensburg, Pa./Central Catholic): He didn't turn in a great time at a NIKE camp with a 5-second 40, but he boasts high interest in PSU.
CB Anthony Davis (Monroeville, Pa./Gateway): He was part of one of the most dominating secondaries in the state, and he led the team with four interceptions.
S Montae Nicholson (Monroeville, Pa./Gateway): He already visited Penn State for a game last season, and he played some cornerback as a junior, too.
S Delvon Randall (Monroeville, Pa./Gateway): Currently in the playoffs for basketball, so he's not sure if he'll have practice or a game Saturday.
DT Thomas Holley, Brooklyn, N.Y./Abraham Lincoln): He said Wednesday night that he's "probably" coming up, but he's not yet completely sure.
LB JaWahun Bentley (Hyattsville, Md./DeMatha Catholic): He said Tuesday he was still thinking whether to join his teammate, Allen, or not.
(Soph.) CB Jordan Whitehead (Monaca, Pa./Central Valley): He said Wednesday night he probably wouldn't be going up to State College, but his mind wasn't definitely made up.
CB Troy Vincent Jr. (Baltimore/Gilman): He initially wanted his family to accompany him to Penn State, but his dad has a prior engagement and his siblings have a basketball game -- so he decided to postpone a visit until a time when they can all make it.
OT Alex Bookser (Pittsburgh/Mount Lebanon): He's going to Maryland and Virginia instead.
DT Brock Boxen (Beaver Falls, Pa./Beaver Falls): He had a personal situation arise, so he won't be able to make it.
TE Luke Carrezola (Langhorne, Pa./ Neshaminy): He said he has another obligation to attend to.
WR Thaddeus Snodgrass (Springfield, Ohio/Springfield): He's going to Kentucky instead. His dad wants him to go there instead because it's closer.
WR K.J. Williams (Bethlehem, Pa./Liberty): He has a district basketball game and doesn't want to leave his team.
LB Kyle Berger (Cleveland/Saint Ignatius): He has a few basketball games to play in.