February 2, 2010

Recruiting Update: Safety Valve?

You thought recruiting was over for Penn State? Ha! Late yesterday, the highly-rated athlete prospect Keenan Allen backed out of his commitment to play for Alabama. That news would have been interesting enough, had it not been for the follow up report: Allen will choose between Cal--right now the likely possibility--and Penn State.

But there's more to this warming storyline, much more. Most analysts are saying "Cal is [Allen's]... place of destination." I'm not sure it's quite that simple.

Good news? Good news... First, let's look at what kind of prospect we're talking about. A press clipping from when Allen was named all-area following the 2009 season:
"[Allen] accounted for 53 touchdowns (23 rushing, 14 receiving, 7 passing, 4 punt return, 2 kick return and three interception return). Had 145 tackles (10 for losses), 8 INT, 2 sacks, 2 fumbles forced, 2 fumbles recovered. Averaged 43.5 yards per punt. Shrine Bowl, Army All-American Game selection."
Oh yeah, he can kick, too:
"He could also be a punter in college," said Northern Guilford coach Johnny Roscoe. "Our placekicker moved away and Keenan immediately started placekicking and was making field goals from over 40 yards out."
We got ourselves a regular Boobie Miles.

Had Allen not given his early commitment to Alabama, Penn State probably would have been an early bet for his verbal this recruiting season. Allen took a trip to Happy Valley way back in 2008, for the Illinois night game. At the time, Allen was a junior, and not hot on the radar for many around Penn State. But looking back, the first of many tidbits was revealed about Allen's connection to the Nittany Lions:
"Allen (6-2, 200), whose father is from State College, [Ed-emphasis added] might be one of the top athlete prospects in the junior class..."
To top that off, former Northern Guilford coach Otis Yelverton--current Nittany Lions defensive end Kevion Latham's former HS coach--is reportedly Allen's "adviser," giving Penn State yet another connection to the recruit.

Allen supposedly wants to play wide receiver in college, which would actually work out well should he decide on Penn State. With Adrian Coxson's exit earlier last month, there is a huge void in this year's recruiting class; Allen would fit Penn State's needs for this class.

Bad news? Bad news... Allen is apparently part of a package deal, with his half-brother Zach Maynard, a 2008 commit to Buffalo, now looking to transfer after head coach Turner Gill moved to Kansas. The two are really set on playing together, which could prove to be the biggest thorn in Penn State's side. The Joe Paterno does not usually accept transfers, particularly from other BCS-AQ (automatic qualifier) programs. And with a sudden infusion of quarterbacks into Penn State's roster for 2010, it doesn't seem at all likely that Penn State would be able to offer Maynard a scholarship. But that's just strike one.

Strike two against Penn State is that Cal is looking for quarterbacks. One of the Bears' dual-threat guys was recently moved to safety following an injury at that position, leaving a void under center. Cal is already on Allen's short-short list (the favorite, in fact), so this would seem like a match made in heaven for the half-brothers.

And finally, the third strike could be this: Allen has still never taken an official visit to Penn State, and there are only a few hours before signing day. For Allen to take an official to Happy Valley, he would have to delay his signing. That's a pretty big decision for such a highly-regarded prospect.

This should be an interesting 24 hours.

Thornton update

Mike Thornton is having fun with his recruitment:
"Thornton has been having a little fun with the process wearing an Auburn hat one day, a Georgia hat one day, and a Penn State hat another day to school."
While it's seeming less likely that Thornton will end up wearing the Blue and White next fall, he's at least giving the Nittany Nation some hope going into the final hours. The University of Georgia has really stepped up its efforts, particularly since USC fell out of the picture. Since Thornton is a home-state product for the Bulldogs, one would think UGA now has a solid lead over PSU.

Also, Thornton's press conference was originally set for 9 a.m., Wednesday (tomorrow). But it's apparently been moved back to 10 a.m. Regardless, I'll be around all day tomorrow monitoring all the recruiting news, so you won't miss a thing.

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1 comment:

  1. i don't like prima donnas.

    give me someone who maintains their verbal and signs at the openning bell, and then heads right to class.