Penn State offers Alabama LBs


Three-star linebacker Beau Hankins (Birmingham, Ala./Jackson-Olin) thought he at least had things kind of sorted out with the recruiting process. He visited Florida International last month and Arkansas last weekend. He had his mind wrapped around a handful of schools that he could potentially visit over the next two weekends. Then he received a scholarship offer today from Penn State.

“That was kind of weird because it really came out of the blue,” Hankins said. “Coach [Ted] Roof is now there, and we had a little bit of a relationship when he was Auburn. Then he started recruiting me for those few weeks he was at UCF. Now he’s at Penn State. I am very happy with the offer, and I don’t think it’s too late. I just need to talk about it with my mom and my coach.”

To make matters a little more exciting, the Nittany Lions also offered his best friend and former teammate in linebacker Harding Harper (Montgomery, Ala./Carver). Harper moved south from Birmingham before the season. Still, this duo wants to play together at the next level. In fact, they made their first two official visits together.

“It means I must be one of the greatest linebackers in the country, because Penn State is ‘Linebacker U,’ ” Harper said. “That’s big man. I just need to talk things over and see what my coaches and family think about it. Man that shocked me. This is wild. I have been watching Penn State since I was little. This caught me by surprise.”

For their official visits everything seems to be completely up in the air right now. Harper was scheduled to visit Vanderbilt this weekend but says that visit has to be rescheduled. Hankins is slated to visit UCF but stated that visit “could change.”

“Right now I am not sure,” Hankins said. “I could visit UCF or maybe Penn State, Ole Miss or Mississippi State. I just know that right now we are both very excited about the Penn State offer. Harding was just over my house and we were talking about it. They seemed to have had so much success with linebackers in the past.”

Many feel that the Jerry Sandusky scandal could hurt Penn State recruiting. But Harper dismissed that notion, at least when it comes to these best of friends.

“That had nothing to do with football,” Harper said. “And those coaches were not there. What happened doesn’t change anything with me and how I see Penn State.”

Hankins, 6-foot-1 and 230-pounds, is the nation’s No. 55 ranked inside linebacker prospect. Harper, 6-foot-1 and 220-pounds, is the country’s No. 95 ranked outside linebacker recruit.

Both recruits raved about their official visit to the Razorbacks last weekend and Arkansas could be the team to beat for their services. They are both slated to make official visits to Ole Miss (Jan. 27) later this month. But things could change.