February 1, 2011

Prepping for a boring LOI Signing Day

Angelo Mangiro was just Penn State's 4th commitment
for 2011, but remains one of the gems of the class.
Penn State's 2011 recruiting class probably had the most entertaining run on the collective sanity of Nittany Lions fans as any we can remember. No, there were no high-profile de-commits or blue-chip steals. But this year's class will have single-handedly brought the Penn State media, message boards, and fan base to near mental rupture, then somehow yank them back from the edge of said stroke, and turn in a pretty decent haul for what many had been dreading just a few weeks ago.

Unfortunately, the ultimate climax to recruiting season--National Letter of Intent Signing Day--should prove to be the exact opposite of what it usually is for fans. Don't expect any signing-day excitement this year. In fact, you may not have even realized tomorrow was signing day, due to the absence of any form of anticipation, or even anxiety, for this class. We won't get into that now. I'll have a brief wrap up post on Thursday or sometime in the 24 hours following the close of signing day.

So, arring any surprise commitments during tomorrow's shindig, the list we'll run down today should make up the 2011 recruiting class. Here you go...

Kyle Carter -- Tight End
6-foot-4, 231 lbs.
New Castle, DE/William Penn
Verbaled on 5/27/10

The FYI: Carter was not hotly recruited by the time Penn State extended the offer and he accepted. Penn State has had good success with players from Delaware, while Carter has good size and room to build.

Shawn Oakman -- Defensive End
6-foot-8, 240 lbs.
Lansdowne, PA/Penn Wood
Verbaled on 7/2/10

The FYI: Oakman served to settle down (for the time being) a restless fan base that was growing irritated at the lack of verbal commitments at this point in the class. Oakman is unusually tall, and depending on how he can mature into his frame, could be something special. He said he plans on wearing No. 91 at Penn State, a number currently worn by defensive tackle DaQuan Jones.

Jordan Kerner -- Defensive End
6-foot-4, 225 lbs.
Fairview, PA/Fairview
Verbaled on 7/7/10

The FYI: Kerner helped keep up the image of recruiting momentum in early July, but being a mid-level pickup didn't exactly excite many. He only had a handful of offers from mostly east coast schools. But Kerner is a good prospect--again, with room to grow--and bolsters what eventually became a good class along the defensive line.

Angelo Mangiro -- Offensive Guard
6-foot-3, 290 lbs.
Succasunna, NJ/Roxbury
Verbaled on 7/25/10

The FYI: Mangiro is still my sleeper candidate to become the premier star from this year's class. Yeah, I know it's tough to project offensive linemen. But Mangiro has the near-exact measurements Penn State loves in its O-guards, and is a pretty smart kid, too. Mangiro was highly sought after, with his finalists down to Penn State, Ohio State, and Rutgers. Plenty of other BCS automatic qualifiers had been strongly pursuing his services.

Anthony Alosi -- Offensive Lineman
6-foot-6, 282 lbs.
Princeton, NJ/Hun School
Verbaled on 11/14/2010

The FYI: It was another four months before Alosi--Penn State's 5th verbal--commit to the Nittany Lions. Alosi is better than he looks on paper, having spent a year a the Hun Prep School in south Jersey. So he does have a maturity factor coming in that most freshmen will not.

Allen Robinson -- Wide Receiver
6-foot-3, 190 lbs.
Orchard Lake, MI/St. Mary's
Verbaled on 11/29/2010

The FYI: Robinson's commitment was my first experience with a "Facebook Verbal," as in he broke the new himself on Facebook, rather than allow the FOS's or BWI's of the world have first crack at it. Robinson played high school ball with Rob Bolden, which I'm sure had just a bit to do with his decision.

Matt Zanellato -- Wide Receiver
6-foot-3, 195 lbs.
Burke, VA/Lake Braddock
Verbaled on 11/29/2010

The FYI: The obvious comparison here is a taller version of Graham Zug. Zanellato did well in a run-oriented offense at Robinson, before transferring to Lake Braddock, which passes more and where he really took off.

Ben Kline -- Linebacker
6-foot-2, 220 lbs.
Dallastown, PA/Dallastown
Verbaled on 12/8/2010

The FYI: Kline turned out to be the first Pitt de-commit to flip his pledge to the Nittany Lions. Kline is a good prospect, with fine measurables. In a class very light on the defensive back seven, he was a good pickup at linebacker.

Anthony Zettel -- Defensive End
6-foot-4, 250 lbs.
Branch, MI/Ogemaw Heights
Verbaled on 12/28/2010

The FYI: 20 days after Kline flipped, Penn State really started to roll in bigger names. It started with one of the top-5 players in the state of Michigan, Zettel, who many had pegged to land at either Michigan or Michigan State. Iowa, Wisconsin, and even USC had also tried to get Zettel. The big coup here for Penn State was that had Zettel gone to Michigan, he would have played immediately, but chose PSU anyway.

Ryan Nowicki -- Offensive Lineman
6-foot-5, 272 lbs.
Glendale, AZ/Cactus
Verbaled on 1/6/2011

The FYI: It's nice to see Penn State reach outside its normal comfort zone, and dip down into the southwest for Nowicki. It's been reported lately that USC is still trying to seduce Nowicki into changing his mind, but the kid is supposedly firm in his commitment to Penn State.

Sam Ficken -- Kicker
6-foot-3, 180 lbs.
Valparaiso, IN/Valparaiso
Verbaled on 1/8/2011

The FYI: Who doesn't love a kicker who is taller than most defensive backs? Ficken has apparently been told by the coaches that he will play right away this fall, taking over the placekicking duties from Colin Wagner.

Donovan Smith -- Offensive Tackle
6-foot-5, 257 lbs.
Owings Mills, MD/Owings Mills
Verbaled on 1/8/2010

The FYI: It just felt wrong that Penn State was having so much trouble recruiting Maryland this year. Well, that was soothed a bit by PSU plucking Smith from the Bay State. Penn State likes their offensive linemen to come in tall but with room to build up. That's exactly what Smith offers. He had offers from every major BCS program east of the Mississippi, and made his announcement at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl.

Bill Belton -- All-Purpose/Receiver
5-foot-9, 191 lbs.
Atco, NJ/Winslow Township
Verbaled on 1/17/2011

The FYI: Belton is Pitt de-commit No. 2 who flipped to Penn State. Belton was up in the air between Penn State and Rutgers, but also had tons of offers from Florida to Oregon to Nebraska. He was a dynamic quarterback in high school, but most likely projects as a receiver. One of the few "skill" players from this class, and he's a damn good one.

Deion Barnes -- Defensive Lineman
6-foot-5, 230 lbs.
Philadelphia, PA/Northeast
Verbaled on 1/20/2011

The FYI: As mentioned in the intro, barring some surprise commitments on signing day, this should wrap up the class. Barnes was a fantastic pickup late in the recruiting season. The No. 4 prospect in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Barnes could have gone to any BCS program he wanted. But it was between the SEC's Georgia and Penn State. Barnes rounds out a great class of linemen.

Position Breakdown

1 Tight End
3 Wide Receivers
4 Offensive Linemen
4 Defensive Linemen
1 Linebacker
1 Kicker

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1 comment:

  1. You can most likely add Adrian Amos to the list of commits..YAY SURPRISES.