August 10, 2010

Tuesday Recruitin': August Recruiting Board Review

Updated 8 p.m.
As football two-a-days heat up both literally and figuratively for high school and college teams, recruiting will take more of a back seat to the action on the field.

It is also the second full week of the "quiet period." I explained a while back that this is the time of year when there can be in-person recruiting contact, but only on the college campus. That means when a recruit visits during this time, hosting coaches and players must be on top of their game, because it's the only time they will see the recruit until after Thanksgiving, when the quiet period ends.

All that being said, after a few quick updates, I'll go over some updates to the offers board since my last post on that topic, about a month ago. Some of this info is the same as that last update, but I figured it would be easier to include everyone. But first, the quick hits for today...

Visits and more...

Mike Caputo will make his decision in about an hour and a half (it's 4:30 p.m. right now), so check back around 6 p.m. for an update on his status. Penn State has been in his top four, which also included Ohio State, Wisconsin and Pitt. The Badgers are the favorites. But if Penn State gets the nod from Caputo, I'll obviously have a full post announcing that. Otherwise, I'll just update this story.

Update: Caputo picked Wisconsin

Darius Jennings told the main stream recruiting services that his visit went well, and that Penn State is again firmly in his choices for top schools. For a while, Jennings had been cooled a bit on Penn State. That was because the Lions had been late offering him a scholarship, combined with the lack of consistent contact by the coaching staff. Apparently, that has all changed, and Penn State is back on board. His top ten include (according to his Facebook page) Boston College, Connecticut, Maryland, Ohio State, Penn State, Pitt, UCLA, Virginia, Virginia Tech and Wake Forest.

Anthony Zettel was very happy about his recent visit to Penn State. In fact, Zettel said he was "surprised" at how much he liked Happy Valley. Originally, I had thought Michigan was the only destination for Zettel, but that could be up in the air now. This recent visit was his last of the season, meaning that he had one shot left before football to make a visit somewhere, and Penn State got the nod. More interesting here, is that Zettel wants to come to Penn State again for the Michigan game, which would offer a unique one-on-one comparison of the two teams on the same field. That might not mean much, but it's neat. Zettel will lay low--other than some visits--until after football season.

Conner Crowell made a change to his top-three schools this week, as Penn State remained in it, but Stanford replaced North Carolina. Crowell seems very high on the Nittany Lions, as Larry Johnson, Sr. is in charge of getting him to Penn State. Aly Khan Johnson, coach Larry Johnson's brother, is actually the athletic director at North Point High School. Crowell was up for the Ohio State game last year, and wants to get back this fall. He said a while back that the commitment will come on his senior day game in November, but that's not a definite.

Recruiting Board Review

Still in it...

ATH/WR Miles Shuler, Long Branch, NJ/Long Branch
Shuler hasn't been such a hot topic around Penn State recruiting sites these days, probably due to Savon Huggins possibly cooling on the Nittany Lions. These two players have been very close through the process, and will likely go to the same school, but it's not definite. Still, Shuler hasn't committed anywhere yet, and hasn't outright said Penn State is done for.

QB Cardale Jones, Cleveland, OH/Glenville Academic Campus
Jones wants to concentrate on the football season, then get back to the recruiting process. Jay Paterno has been in contact with him. Ohio State was a probably destination, until the Buckeyes landed the top QB in the nation.

ATH/WR Darius Jennings, Baltimore, MD/Gilman School
(see the visit update above)

RB Savon Huggins, Jersey City, NJ/St. Peter's Prep
Huggins hasn't dropped Penn State yet, but hasn't exactly been talking about the Nittany Lions lately. There is still some hope here.

RB Tre Mason, Boynton Beach, FL/Park Vista
Penn State just offered Mason today. This could be directly related to the above update on Huggins. But we'll see how it shakes out.

WR Quinta Funderburk, Chesapeake, VA/Oscar Smith
We found out a while ago that Funderburk is cousins with Kevin Newsome. Penn State is always a factor in southeast Virginia, and Funderburk cut his list to five, including the Nittany Lions, a few weeks ago. This would be a very nice pickup for 2011.

WR Brandon Reddish, Brooklyn, NY/Fort Hamilton
Reddish doesn't claim any leaders right now, but says Penn State and Rutgers have been recruiting him hard. Mike McQueary and Kermit Buggs have both contacted him about playing both sides of the ball.

OL Cyrus Kouandjio, Hyattsville, MD/DeMatha
Considering he's one of the top recruits in the nation, Kouandjio's recruitment has been relatively quiet these days. We might have to wait until after football season for anything earth-shattering happens with him.

OL Spencer Region, Cullman, AL/Cullman
Region is still surprisingly high on Penn State. He had said originally that he wants to pick a school before football season, but that it wasn't definite.

OL Anthony Zettel, West Branch, MI/Ogemaw Heights
(see visit update above)

OL Aundrey Walker, Cleveland, OH/Glenville Academic Campus
Walker hasn't verbaled anywhere yet, which surprises me. I thought Ohio State would have picked him up by now. Penn State isn't out, but no one has heard much of anything from Walker lately. Michigan State has caught some of his attention, as the Spartans are hitting Glenville hard this season. Walker is teammates with a few other Penn State recruits.

OL Zach West, Lexington, KY/Lexington Christian
Since Auburn never offered, West cut his official list to five schools, including Penn State. Other than that, nothing much.

OL Jay Whitmire, Alexandria, VA/T.C. Williams
Whitmire had been most recently down to Chapel Hill for a visit to UNC. Penn State is still in the mix here, as Larry Johnson, Sr. is in charge of getting Whitmire to Happy Valley.

OL Donovan Smith, Owings Mills, MD/Owings Mills
Smith is going to cut his list to 10 schools by the end of the month, but he already pointed out Penn State as an early member of that group. Virginia, UCLA, Syracuse, and Michigan State will be also in the final 10 so far.

DT Darian Cooper, Hyattsville, MD/DeMatha
Cooper is being recruited hardest by Maryland, as the Terps have been in constant (relentless?) contact with him. Penn State is still definitely in it, though, but so are about a dozen other top programs.

DE Deion Barnes, Philadelphia, PA/Northeast
Barnes has been one of the quietest recruits this summer. Penn State is still in his top schools, but we haven't had many updates beyond that.

DE Ishaq Williams, Brooklyn, NY/Abraham Lincoln
Williams has gotten plenty of attention from national programs this summer. He went on a few visits, but hasn't cut his list yet. Expect that to change by the end of this month, as he indicated that he would like to make only five or so visits after the season starts. Penn State is still very much in this race.

LB Andre Sturdivant, Cleveland, OH/Glenville
Studivant visited Penn State a few weeks ago with Cardale Jones, as all the Glenville recruits are tight and want to try to stay together in college. While you have to admire that, it probably won't happen. Sturdivant likes Penn State and Ohio State, with Michigan State hanging on.

LB Conner Crowell, Waldorf, MD/North Point
(see the update in this post)

CB Doran Grant, Akron, OH/St. Vincent-St. Mary
You could have told me a few weeks ago that Grant was still considering Penn State, and I surely would have laughed at you. But that is apparently the case, as Grant just narrowed his list to 10 schools, including the Nittany Lions. While it would be an upset if Penn State could pull him away from other top schools, it's nice to know the Lions aren't completely out.

CB Demetrious Nicholson, Virginia Beach, VA/Bayside
Nicholson looks like he's headed to North Carolina, but no verbal commitment has come. Penn State hasn't been eliminated, and Nicholson said he was very interested in Penn State only a few weeks ago.

CB Dominique Noble, Mount Ulla, NC/West Rowan
Noble narrowed his list a few weeks ago to just three schools--Penn State, Notre Dame, and Georgia Tech. He's been on some visits, but nothing major has gone on. It's tough to gauge prospects like Noble, but there's no reason to discount the Nittany Lions at this point.

CB Kyshoen Jarrett, East Stroudsburg, PA/East Stroudsburg
Jarrett is very high on Penn State. It is my firm belief that he will pick the Nittany Lions. But with the way this recruiting class has gone, don't be surprised by something different.

S/LB Mike Caputo, Imperial, PA/West Allegheny
(see update above)

Most likely gone...

WR Damiere Byrd, Sicklerville, NJ/Timber Creek
Byrd might be lost for Penn State, but he hasn't yet committed to a school.

WR Tobais Singleton, Madison, MS/Madison Central
Singleton hasn't verbally committed to any school yet, but Penn State would have to pull a real trick here to win over this receiver.

LB Travis Hughes, Virginia Beach, VA/Kempsville
Hughes hasn't said anything about Penn State in months, focusing on schools like Maryland and Virginia Tech. My money is on the Hokies.

LB Maika Polamalu, Pottsgrove, PA/Pottsgrove
Polamalu and Penn State kind of got off to a weird start. The Nittany Lions haven't offered in writing, while Polamalu said right off the bat that he wouldn't be a great fit at Penn State.

LB Curtis Grant, Richmond, VA/Hermitage
Grant was supposedly offered by Penn State, but things kind of dissolved from there.

Committed Elsewhere

ATH/RB Remound Wright, Fort Wayne, Ind./Bishop Dwenger
Wright verbally committed on June 18 to play for the Stanford Cardinal

ATH/DB Terrell Chestnut, Pottstown, PA/Pottsgrove
Chestnutt verbally committed on July 29 to play for the Pitt Panthers.

ATH/WR Bill Belton, Atco, NJ/Winslow Township
Belton verbally committed on June 11 to play for the Pittsburgh Panthers

WR Ja'Juan Story, Brooksville, FL/Nature Coast Technical
Story verbally committed on June 28 to play for the Florida Gators.

TE Brian Miller, Andover, MA/Andover
Miller verbally committed on April 25 to play for the Boston College Eagles.

TE Ben Koyack, Oil City, PA/Oil City
Koyack verbally committed on April 27 to play for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish.

TE Eric MacLain, Fayetteville, NC/Jack Britt
MacLain verbally committed on April 17 to play for the Clemson Tigers.

TE Marco Jones, Baltimore, MD/The Boys’ Latin School
Jones verbally committed on June 6 to play for the Virginia Cavaliers.

TE Nick Vannett, Westerville, OH/Central
Vannett verbally committed on June 6 to play for the Ohio State Buckeyes.

OL Kiaro Holts, Indianapolis, IN/Warren Central
Holts verbally committed on June 25 to play for the North Carolina Tar Heels.

DT Shawn Underwood, Fuquay-Varina, NC/Fuquay-Varina
Underwood verbally committed on July 13 to play for the North Carolina Tar Heels.

DT Marquise Wright, Paramus, NJ/Paramus Catholic
Wright verbally committed on June 28 to play for the Pittsburgh Panthers.

DT Al Page, Bronx, NY/Christopher Columbus
Page verbally committed on April 14 to play for the Rutgers Scarlet Knights.

DT Joel Hale, Greenwood, IN/Center Grove
Hale verbally committed on June 7 to play for the Ohio State Buckeyes.

DE Deon Green, Orlando, FL/Olympia
Green verbally committed on June 29 to play for the South Carolina Gamecocks [snicker].

DE Rob Burns, Ashburn, VA/Stone Bridge
Burns verbally committed on July 1 to play for the Virginia Cavaliers.

DE Marco Jones, Baltimore, MD/Boys Latin School
Jones verbally committed on June 6 to play for the Virginia Cavaliers.

LB Lawrence Thomas, Detroit, MI/Renaissance
Thomas verbally committed on March 5 to play for the Michigan State Spartans.

CB Brandon Phelps, Damascus, MD/Damascus
Phelps verbally committed on June 25 to play for the Virginia Cavaliers.

CB Albert Louis-Jean, Brockton, MA/Brockton
Louis-Jean verbally committed on March 24 to play for the Miami Hurricanes.

I will be updating the full recruiting board ASAP

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