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Five things to watch this weekend

11/10/2011

What will the repercussions be for Penn State?

Obviously there are much more pressing concerns for the Nittany Lions than recruiting after legendary head coach Joe Paterno was fired amidst a scandal involving a former coach.

However, Penn State fans will one day turn to recruiting as a way to rebuild the program. That may not be easy.

Several high school coaches have expressed concern.

“I'm sick over the stuff back home in Pennsylvania,” head coach Brian Hales from Matthews (N.C.) Butler said.

Like so many coaches in the East, Hales has ties to Pennsylvania and Penn State. He grew up nearby, had a sister and several friends who attended the school and surely viewed it as an established, secure program to send his prospects.

Now, Penn State seems anything but as they'll have to look for a new head coach after more than four decades, continue to face a federal investigation and rebuild its image.

Penn State currently ranks No. 18 in the nation in recruiting with two ESPNU 150 commitments among its 16 overall.

One of its highest rated prospects, four-star offensive guard Brian Gaia from Baltimore (Md.) Gilman, has expressed to his high school coaches that he's having second thoughts about the commitment he made to Penn State in May.

“Definitely some concern,” Gilman assistant coach Henry Russell said. “Brian is a real loyal kid though.”

The impact could last well past signing day in February. Several junior prospects from Gilman have shown interest in Penn State and recently visited the school with Gaia.

“We haven't talked to them too much,” Russell said. “They have more time so they can watch it play out.”

Who's next for LeMay?

Interest in ESPNU 150 Watch List receiver Uriah LeMay (Matthews, N.C./Butler) continues to grow at an amazing pace. Now Virginia Tech, Clemson and Auburn are showing strong interest.

The junior stated in a Facebook message that he likes the “coaches, people (and) atmosphere” at those three schools and that he's developing strong relationships there.

Oregon is also making a strong push as well. What does LeMay like about the Ducks from afar? You guessed it, the jerseys.

As for visits to check out some schools, LeMay stated, “No visits planned till the spring but not sure. Were just kinda go(ing) with whatever comes up.”

LeMay already has scholarship offers from over a dozen schools and that list will likely grow significantly as the junior continues to play well into the playoffs (a highly anticipated matchup with rival Mallard Creek is looming in a couple of weeks). LeMay has also opened the door of his recruitment by saying he's not a lock to go to Georgia just because his brother, Christian LeMay, is a freshman there.

Who is next for Gilman's dynamic duo?

Two juniors from Baltimore (Md.) Gilman are continuing to pick up a steady flow of scholarship offers. Tight end/defensive tackle Henry Poggi and linebacker Micah Kiser were offered by Boston College this week.

With over a dozen scholarship offers, it seems as if it would be tough for B.C. to pull away Poggi from programs with more national prominence.

Same for Kiser. He won't likely be quite as sought after as Poggi but he already has offers from Florida, Maryland and Virginia.

Who is next for Goins?

Linebacker Kenneth Goins from Gilman picked up a scholarship offer from nearby Maryland this week.

“Think he has some real interest in them,” coach Russell said.

Maryland entered the game a bit late and he already has scholarship offers from Syracuse, Georgia Tech, Rutgers, Pittsburgh and Vanderbilt.

However, Maryland coach Randy Edsall's dedication to recruiting the area around Baltimore and Washington, D.C. could overcome that. He's had a strong relationship with Gilman and Goins even if he wasn't one of the first recruiters to offer him a scholarship.

SEC headed north?

Tennessee has offered a scholarship to junior defensive end Dajuan Drennon from Sicklerville (N.J.) Timbercreek.

South Carolina has offered a scholarship to junior defensive end Tashawn Bower from Somerville (N.J.) Immaculata.

Is this a new priority for the two SEC East schools? Combined the two schools have five players on their roster from New Jersey. South Carolina has three. Tennessee has two.