Penn State Nittany Lions: Alec Bloom

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- Linebackers coach Ron Vanderlinden pulled one player aside several times during Saturday's advanced skills camp, gesturing and smiling while offering some tips.

That player, 2014 linebacker Jason Cabinda (Flemington, N.J./Hunterdon Central), nodded along with Vanderlinden and appeared to take the instruction well -- especially for a recruit whose film mostly showcases him at tailback and defensive end.

"They wanted to see if I was comfortable playing at linebacker," Cabinda said. "Any mistakes I made for the most part were just mental mistakes, because of me not playing linebacker and not me physically being unable to do something. So that was a really good sign. They feel like I just need some coaching up, and I'll be fine."

The Nittany Lions have recruited Cabinda since his sophomore season, but teams' interest has especially picked up since April. His offer list increased from just one to more than a dozen, mostly from FCS schools. He now counts several FBS schools -- Boston College, UConn, UMass, Navy, Syracuse, Temple -- on that offer sheet.

The 6-foot-2, 221-pound athlete visited campus a few months ago, after junior day, to watch spring practice. And, although he doesn't yet hold a PSU offer, he thought he greatly improved his standing with the staff after his camp performance.

"They said they think very highly of me, and they definitely want me to come back," Cabinda said. "They said if they didn't think highly of me, then they wouldn't have asked me to come back. So I hope I'll be hearing from them soon.

"I've just always loved Penn State. I came here before, and I just love the campus. I visited the stadium; I was just laying down inside and taking it in. So, yeah, I really do like Penn State."

New offer out: 2015 CB Minkah Fitzpatrick (Jersey City, N.J./St. Peter's Prep) stood out as the top athlete at PSU's camp and earned an offer from PSU before the afternoon's second session started up.

Bill O'Brien talked to Fitzpatrick's father on the field for several minutes during the morning session, and the elder Fitzpatrick said he enjoyed the chat. His son already boasts nine offers, and he'll undoubtedly be receiving more as he attends more camps and his film trickles out.

His father, also named Minkah, told NittanyNation his son will be stopping at several camps this summer and is only looking at schools in which he has considerable interest. PSU was Fizpatrick's first stop, but he also plans to see Alabama next month and has a South Carolina visit scheduled.

Fitzpatrick also wants to see Ohio State, Clemson and Michigan before his junior season begins.

Jesse James lookalike? One tight end who caught a lot of on-lookers' eyes was 2014 TE Alec Bloom (Ligonier, Pa./Ligonier), who stands at 6-foot-7 just like sophomore TE Jesse James.

Bloom, whose primary sport was basketball until this year, showed nice hands on several passes. He holds no offers but appears to be primary run-on material. This was his first-ever football camp, and the tight end felt the coaches noticed him Saturday.

And, of course, he was well-aware of those inevitable James comparisons.

"You ever hear of Jes--," someone asked.

"Jesse James," Bloom interrupted, laughing. "Yeah, I watched tape on him, and he's very good. He's a role model, so to speak."

On a lighter note ... : As soon O'Brien entered Holuba Hall, PSU's indoor practice facility, it was pretty easy to see just how starstruck some of the recruits were.

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