Commentary

PSU cherry-picking the Big Apple

Originally Published: October 22, 2009
By Billy Tucker | Scouts Inc.

New York and neighboring New Jersey have a reputation for producing tough, blue-collar football players, and 2010 is no different. The two states have plenty of athleticism to offer this year, but finesse and fluidity are often replaced with well-rounded, physical play -- particularly among the top prospects.

ESPNU 150 No. 5 defensive end Dominique Easley (Staten Island, N.Y./Curtis) is the top player in this region, but he can be a bit rigid in his lateral movements. However, there are few offensive linemen in this class who can go toe-to-toe in the trenches with this explosive future Nittany Lion.

Wide receiver Shakim Phillips (Wayne, N.J./De Paul Catholic) is a large target without great elusiveness or smooth movement skills as a route-runner. But this four-star Boston College commit knows how to use his great frame as a pass-catcher and an imposing outside threat.

Tight end Kevin Haplea (Annandale, N.J./North Hunterdon), the area's No. 3-rated prospect, has solid size and blocking and receiving skills, but the Penn State commit is more reliable as a short or intermediate target than as a game-breaker.

Once again, the Garden State is on a different level when it comes to producing upper-tier prospects. New Jersey, particularly the southern region, seems to put more emphasis on the sport in general. New York claims just two prospects listed in the combined top 10, but Easley certainly represents the Big Apple.


For a look at the top player in the New York/New Jersey area, a name to remember who might not be the highest-rated prospect and the programs doing the best job of recruiting this year, become an ESPN Insider. Insider

Billy Tucker

Scouts, Football Recruiting
• Recruiting coordinator for ESPN RecruitingNation.
• Nearly a decade of college coaching experience.
• Was recruiting coordinator at nationally-ranked Division II colleges.