Penn State Nittany Lions: Penn State

With a little more than five months left in the 2014 recruiting process, there looks to be five spots remaining to fill out Penn State’s class.

Though NCAA sanctions say the Nittany Lions can’t take more than 15 in a class, Penn State can get it up to 17 by playing the numbers game and getting pledges to enroll early.

Here are the top five targets for the Nittany Lions and a look at what might happen before February.

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Coach talk: TE Adam Breneman 

January, 23, 2013
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What kind of player is Penn State getting here in Adam Breneman? And what can fans expect?

NittanyNation turned to one of the people who knows most what Breneman is capable of on the field -- his high school coach at Camp Hill (Pa.) Cedar Cliff -- and asked what separates him as a player, how he first noticed Breneman's ability and when he especially showcased his FBS potential.

TE Adam Breneman, Camp Hill (Pa.) Cedar Cliff, 4 stars, No. 67 in ESPN 150
6-foot-4, 229 pounds


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Lions spotlight: DaeSean Hamilton 

January, 23, 2013
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Every weekday until signing day, NittanyNation will break down a commitment from Penn State’s 2013 recruiting class.

Vitals: Wide receiver DaeSean Hamilton, Stafford, Va./Mountain View, 6-foot, 185 pounds


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Signing day primer: Penn State 

January, 23, 2013
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With two weeks left until signing day, NittanyNation takes a closer look at what fans should know about the state of the class and this Penn State team.

Team needs: Defensive coordinator John Butler made it clear he wasn't happy with the secondary's depth last season. At cornerback, untested true freshman Da'Quan Davis was the backup, and the safeties opened the year as the team's weakness.

That's not the only concern. With Matt McGloin's departure, Steven Bench is now the most experienced quarterback on the team. And he threw just eight passes last season. Linebacker is also a position that could use a few extra bodies, especially with Michael Mauti and Gerald Hodges making a run at the NFL.

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Q&A: Preferred walk-on Von Walker 

January, 22, 2013
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Von Walker (Mill Hall, Pa./Central Mountain) accepted a preferred walk-on offer from Penn State about a month ago, and he recently spoke with NittanyNation at length about his future with the Nittany Lions.


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Lions spotlight: Parker Cothren 

January, 22, 2013
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Every weekday until signing day, NittanyNation will break down a commitment from Penn State’s 2013 recruiting class.

Vitals: Defensive tackle Parker Cothren, Hazel Green, Ala./Hazel Green, 6-foot-4, 250 pounds

Committed: Nov. 20, 2012

ESPN.com grade: 69. Two-star prospect.

ESPN.com rankings: No. 121 at position. No. 643 in region, No. 45 in state.

Picked Penn State over: North Carolina, Purdue, Tennessee and others.


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Top Penn State sleepers 

January, 22, 2013
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Penn State's been able to find its fair share of starters from unheralded recruits, so NittanyNation decided to take a closer look its top-five sleepers since 2006.

These scholarship players came in with little fanfare but have since established themselves with conference honors, broken records and solid performances. Here they are:

1. WR Allen Robinson, Class of 2011, Two stars (Grade: 72)

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Top Penn State recruiting misses 

January, 22, 2013
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Obviously, coaches hope every elite recruit they reel in becomes a star player and household name. But recruiting doesn't work like that.

For every hit, there's a miss. So, NittanyNation decided to take a look at five big-name recruits -- from the 2006 class and on -- that never were. Here they are:


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Lions spotlight: Brendan Mahon 

January, 21, 2013
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Every weekday until signing day, NittanyNation will break down a commitment from Penn State’s 2013 recruiting class.

Vitals: Offensive guard Brendan Mahon, Randolph, N.J./Randolph, 6-foot-5, 300 pounds

Committed: March 17, 2012

ESPN.com grade: 83. Four-star prospect.

ESPN.com rankings: No. 208 in ESPN 300, No. 12 at position, No. 29 in region, No. 8 in state.

Picked Penn State over: Florida, Miami (Fla.), Michigan, West Virginia and others.


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Tom Devenney, a senior interested in a preferred walk-on spot, was walking briskly to the auditorium Sunday morning when he heard a voice call out his name: "Tom! Hey, Tom!"

A hand tapped him on his shoulder, and he swiveled around to see Bill Kavanaugh, the director of football operations, standing behind him.

"I was surprised. I can't believe he could recognize me from behind," said Devenney, an offensive guard out of Lititz (Pa.) Warwick.

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Neiko Robinson stared outside his window on the plane ride to Happy Valley, trying his best to envision what Beaver Stadium might look like up close.

When the three-star safety's plane glided over town, his eyes immediately targeted that giant erector set of a structure. He felt a sense of excitement, a surge of adrenaline, and his eyes followed until it went out of view.

"When the stadium was coming up, you couldn't help but see it," the PSU commit said with a laugh. "I just got chill bumps. When I saw it, I was like, 'Oh gosh.' I was just at a loss for words."

The defensive back out of Bratt (Fla.) Northview visited the stadium at 3 p.m. the next day. He had previously only seen photos, most from Penn State's website, and never before saw the stadium in-person. He had never stepped foot in Pennsylvania before.

Robinson called his time inside the stadium as the most memorable part of his three-day, 1,700-mile round trip.

"It's just a beautiful stadium," he said. "From the outside, it looks huge. And you get inside and it's like, 'Dang!' Man, it's so big. I can just imagine how filled up it's going to be."


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Week in review: NittanyNation

January, 20, 2013
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NittanyNation takes a look at this week’s Penn State football news and what you might have missed:
  • Three-star LB Jonathan Walton explained why he decommitted and said PSU hadn't been in contact with him all that much since his official visit.
Welcome to NittanyNation's bi-weekly mailbag! We asked you to tweet your questions this week, and we've selected three to answer in-depth -- starting with the question we received most.

Scott Reading (@7reading7) writes:
What will be the biggest challenge for O'Brien this upcoming season? I feel it'll be the secondary.

Josh Moyer: Well, the secondary certainly isn't a bad choice. But with both safeties returning and another year under Adrian Amos' belt, I think we can all agree they should be improved overall from last season. But it's definitely far from a strength.


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5 Questions: 2014 RB Robert Martin 

January, 18, 2013
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Every week, NittanyNation will pose five questions to a recruit, player, alum or coach about Penn State and other news.

This week's subject is Robert Martin, a 2014 tailback out of Harrisburg (Pa.) who's being recruited by the Nittany Lions. Martin has recently seen his recruitment pick up after rushing for 1,812 yards and 18 touchdowns this past season. He averaged more than 12 yards a carry.


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Bill O'Brien added yet another national coaching honor to his resume Thursday night, becoming the Bear Bryant Coach of the Year.

Joe Paterno won the first-ever Bear Bryant Award after leading the Nittany Lions to the 1986 national championship. Penn State and Auburn are now the only schools with multiple recipients of the award.

"This is a huge honor for the Penn State program, for a great group of players and a great coaching staff," O'Brien said in a news release. "The other coaches here are phenomenal coaches who have done this for a long time. I've only done this for a year.

"It shows what type of coaching staff and the type of players we had this year. It is a program award."

(Read full post)

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