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Monday, May 6, 2013
2014 PSU spotlight: LB Jared Wangler

By Josh Moyer

Heading into summer, NittanyNation will look closer at the 2014 recruits who claim offers from Penn State. Today we examine linebacker Jared Wangler, who plans to visit PSU on Friday.

Vitals: LB Jared Wangler, Warren (Mich.) De La Salle, 6-foot-2, 218 pounds

Offers: He holds eight, primarily from MAC schools. Michigan State is showing interest but hasn't yet pulled the trigger, so his top offer -- besides PSU -- appears to be Cincinnati.

Numbers game: He finished his junior season (nine games) with 76 stops, 10 tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks, one interception and two fumble recoveries.

Memorable highlight: Keep in mind that Wangler plays outside linebacker and strong safety. That's pretty evident on the first play on this highlight tape, because his zone coverage is pretty exemplary. He bumps the slot receiver, runs to the right and makes an athletic leaping interception on a ball thrown to the outside target. Wangler wasn't finished, though. He flashed his speed and vision by taking the pick back 34 yards for a touchdown.

State of the position: PSU coach Bill O'Brien acknowledged linebacker is lacking depth this season, so he knows he'll need at least two in this recruiting class. Four-star prospect Troy Reeder already committed and is slated to play inside, but PSU still needs an outside linebacker. Glenn Carson is the only scholarship player here who'll graduate in the next offseason, so depth should be less of a problem moving forward. The candidate here won't necessarily be pressed into early action.

What has caught Penn State's eye: In case you haven't caught on to the trend quite yet, PSU's staff has really complimented Wangler on one thing: his versatility. He's penciled in as a linebacker, but he also has the frame and ability to play safety. He's an athletic player who reportedly runs in the mid-4.5s and boasts a nice vertical.

What are Penn State's chances? Put him on "Commit Watch." Wangler called PSU his top school last month, and little has changed since then. (He did add a Cincinnati offer, but that hardly tempered his PSU enthusiasm.) He is visiting PSU again, about a month after his first visit, so things are really stacked in the Nittany Lions' favor right now. It would be a surprise to see him land elsewhere.

Quotables: "I was comfortable with the coaching staff -- and it's Linebacker U. It's a great tradition. I like everything about that program. Other than that, it has a good atmosphere and it's a nice college town. I felt very comfortable."