January 27, 2010

Wednesday Recruitin': The home stretch

Updated: 11:30 a.m.

This is what I get for writing up Wednesday Recruitin' late last night, instead of procrastinating like usual until the morning. Either way, there's even more big news out today since I first published this post. Penn State lands No. 19 in its 2010 class, while things could be looking even brighter for a big-time No. 20 next week. So much for that whole not-looking-so-good thing.

Can I get a Goo Punch?!

Late this morning, Erie Cathedral Prep's (PA) Shyquawn Pullium pulled the trigger on Penn State, giving his hard verbal to the Nittany Lions. Click here for Tim's post about Pullium committing to play for Penn State.

Thornton leaning away? Not so much

Mike Thornton has a lot of schools after him right now. It seems once Penn State started to ramp up its effort to land Thornton, about a half-dozen others followed suit. One of the top-10 players from Georgia this year, Thornton has standing offers from 19 FBS programs. Currently, only seven are in the running for his services, including Penn State.

But the big problem is that Penn State, as is customary for the Nittany Lions, likes to recruit early. Of the top seven schools, Thornton visited Penn State the earliest, way back on November 6. In the meantime, he's taken officials to Georgia and Kentucky; Thornton is set to fly out to Los Angeles on January 29 for a visit with USC. Ed Orgeron is in charge of Thornton's recruitment, so we should expect no fewer than three stretch-Hummers, two strippers, and a visit from Snoop Dogg as part of a lovely afternoon in University Park*.

It was announced this morning that Thornton will not be visiting any more schools, including the USC visit, and that it is now officially down to just Penn State, Kentucky and Georgia. This is HUGE for Penn State's chances with him, not only because the Lions are in the top three, but because USC is out. Penn State looks like the best location for Thornton, with one of the best defensive line coaches in the sport. Thornton will reportedly announce his decision at a 9 a.m. press conference on signing day.

Preferred Walk-On

Don Duckett was invited to walk on at Penn State for spring camp. The Bishop-McDevitt prospect was named to the Pennsylvania roster for the Big 33 All-Star Game, is a 1st Team Class AAAA All-State performer, but has not been widely recruited. Currently, Duckett holds scholarship offers from Kent State, Army and Akron.

Duckett said that it's always been his dream to play for the Nittany Lions, which leaves him in a precarious situation--walk on at Penn State with little chance to play, or take a scholarship to a MAC-level school and possibly play early?
“I could go to Akron, Kent State or Army, but Penn State is a big deal,” Duckett said of his choices. “I grew up watching Penn State and it has always been my dream to go there.

“They (Penn State) told me I could go there and go to camp with the team,” Duckett continued. “I could potentially get on special teams and have the chance to earn a scholarship.”
Penn State has had really great success with walk-ons in the past, so seeing Duckett pass up a scholarship offer wouldn't be all that surprising here.

Kimble no more

Tahj Kimble picked Boston College yesterday. He didn't mention anything about why he didn't like the other schools. Kimble just really liked Boston. 'Cause, you know, they got video games and stuff...
"They asked me do you play Madden, do you play video games? They asked me what I do at home. There were all kinds of questions. That right there made me feel like I was one of the players. While I'm there, I'm just going through the motions just doing stuff and I'm thinking I'm in Boston. I thought I was home."
This pretty much means Silas Redd is going to be the only running back in the 2010 recruiting class. That's not a bad thing, but it would have been nice to see one more back in there.

Damn you, Madden!

Gaston gone, too

Earlier this week, Chicago defensive end Bruce Gaston, Jr. eliminated Penn State from his final list of schools. Read the full story on why Gaston cut the Nittany Lions.

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