March 9, 2010

Tuesday Recruitin': In the mix, out of the mix

The winter snow is still melting away, yet we're already getting a good look at what kind of recruits Penn State will make a serious push for in the 2011 class. Sometimes, though, early sure-things can quickly turn into "oh yeah, we did recruit him, didn't we?" That's what happened this week, as several of one-time Penn State prospects virtually ended their chances with the Nittany Lions before they even took hold.

That's not all we'll cover in today's recruiting update, but it will be the biggest chunk of things. Penn State is looking at new potential recruits each day, adding them to the radar faster than others fall off. So don't think for one second that anything is wrong with the Nittany Lions' recruiting efforts for 2011. This year's class has long been expected to be a small crop, particularly since the 2010 class was one of the best in recent memory (and that's really saying something).

Penn State has to be picky with the 2011 class, frankly, since there could be as few as 13 scholarships available. The coaching staff will want to address specific needs by going after recruits that have the most upside, with little risk involved. There is no room for attrition in this class, like that which took place within the 2000 or 2006 classes. They were both huge hauls by Penn State, so no one really noticed five years later when a third of those classes had become non-factors in one form or another. But with so few scholarships in 2011, a third of that class might only be four or five players.

Out of the mix

Maika Polamalu will not come to Penn State. He said last week that Penn State isn't a good fit for his style of play. Reports are hinting that he will look to the west, possibly the Pac-10, for a school.

Lawrence Thomas committed to Michigan State last week. He said MSU was the pick because they're a rising program. It's another great recruit for Mark D'Antonio, who just landed the second consecutive No. 1 prospect in the state of Michigan. Expect Thomas to see time in 2010.

In the mix

Angelo Mangiro was the kid who said he was flattered that Penn State took the time to know their recruits before throwing out an offer. Dick Anderson is in charge of recruiting Mangiro. Mangiro is currently listed as's No. 1 offensive guard, and is on the Rivals 250 and ESPNU150 watch lists. The 6-foot-3, 290-pound prospect out of Succasunna, NJ, has offers from 10 BCS programs, including Ohio State, USC, North Carolina and Florida State.

Kevin McReynolds is a rising star lineman from Washington, DC. While he doesn't yet have an offer from Penn State, he said last week that he's eagerly anticipating hearing from the Nittany Lions. Larry Johnson, Sr. is actively recruiting McReynolds again, after a quiet period over the winter. Over the last few weeks, his offers list has nearly doubled, with USC, North Carolina, Rutgers, LSU, Michigan and Pittsburgh just some of nearly a dozen scholarship offers from BCS programs. At 6-foot-2, 280 pounds, McReynolds has earned a spot on the Rivals 250 watch list.

Brandon Phelps plans on visiting Penn State in the next two weeks. Phelps is a rising athlete prospect out of Damascus, MD, who will probably end up at corner in college. Penn State isn't looking for a wide receiver haul this class, but Phelps' 6-foot frame would be a great addition to the Nittany Lions' secondary. Phelps is gaining mostly regional interest, but is also rising nationally as an all-purpose prospect. Among his seven scholarship offers are letters from Penn State, Pittsburgh, West Virginia, Iowa and Illinois.

Marquise Wright views Penn State as his "dream school." The 6-foo-3, 265-pound junior defensive lineman from Paramus Catholic (NJ) has seven offers, including offers from Penn State, Georgia, South Carolina, Oklahoma, and Florida State. If those teams see something in Wright, expect much more attention to come his way over the next few months.

Recruiting Zuggets (PSU-speak for 'nuggets')
Visit the recruiting board for the latest tally of recruits claiming offers from Penn State for 2011.

Doran Grant will be at Penn State on May 2 for the Nike Camp.

Donovan Smith is planning to visit PSU soon, but a date hasn't yet been set. He recently said Penn State was at or near the top of his list. Larry Johnson, Sr. is recruiting Smith.

Savon Huggins recently said in an interview that he's been in contact with Penn State on a consistent basis. Seems like this is the kid they really, really want for 2011. Huggins said that he's also been talking to Stephfon Green and another player, but we're not sure who it was.

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