Wednesday, April 3, 2013
2014 PSU spotlight: Jermaine Eluemunor
By Josh Moyer
Over the next few months, NittanyNation will look closer at the 2014 recruits who claim offers from Penn State. Today we examine juco offensive tackle Jermaine Eluemunor, who received a PSU offer around 6:30 a.m. ET Feb. 26.
Offers: He holds more than 20 right now, and he's basically able to attend any college he wants. He's hearing from just about every conference and has offers from the likes of Alabama, Ohio State, Florida State, Georgia and USC.
Numbers game: Stats are obviously hard to come by for offensive linemen, but he was part of a line that helped its running backs average 6.4 yards a rush and saw its top tailback -- De'Chavon Hayes -- average slightly more than a first down with every carry. The offensive line also allowed just 11 sacks in 10 games.
Memorable highlight: There's plenty of highlights where Eluemunor just out-muscles the defensive end and pushes him back 5 yards. But two plays really demonstrate what makes him special. On one play, the offensive tackle pulls left and smacks a linebacker to open up the hole for the running back -- but that's not unique. What happens later is what's surprising. The tailback runs 62 yards, Eluemunor disappears off the screen but -- right as the ball-carrier is brought down -- Eluemunor emerges about 8 yards behind the runner and nails a defender. You can watch it here at the 40-second mark. And, at the 4:32 mark, you can watch him fall down, instantly spring up and engage another defender.
State of the position: Penn State has told recruits it plans to take just one offensive tackle. If Eluemunor decides to commit, the staff might end up taking two, because he'll be able to enroll early. At this point, PSU will have four returning scholarship tackles on its roster in 2014, so it could use another body. TE-turned-OT Garry Gilliam and incoming freshman Andrew Nelson are among the returners. It wouldn't be a surprise if a recruit here sees situational time as a first-year player.
What has caught Penn State's eye: He's big, strong and has a lot of upside. He moved from London in 2009 and didn't see considerable playing time in high school until his senior season due to inexperience. He has a wrestling background -- finishing with a 34-3 record -- and is quick for his size. His high ceiling, combined with his ability to immediately contribute, makes him a very coveted prospect. You won't see him giving up on any plays either.
What are Penn State's chances? Medium. At different times, Eluemunor has mentioned USC and Rutgers a lot. He also has talked at different times about Florida State, Alabama, Ohio State, Texas A&M, Florida and Nebraska. But PSU was the first four-year college he ever visited, and that unofficial really helped PSU's odds. He came away very impressed, especially with the stadium, and will return for the Blue-White Game in a few weeks. There's a chance he also might head to a spring practice, so the Nittany Lions certainly have seemed to grow on him in the last month. PSU is in good shape right now, but Eluemunor has a lot of visits left.
Quotables: "I know they can't go to a bowl game, but football isn't all about that. It's also about becoming the best player you can and, me, I want to go to the NFL. So I want to go where I can really develop, because I know I'm going to work hard and out-work everyone. I want a coach who's going to help me develop, and I talked to Coach Mac [McWhorter] before on the phone, but it helped me seeing him in person. It just helped a lot. I like Coach Mac even more now."