April 29, 2011

Friday Recruitin' Is Camping This Weekend

If it ain't broke, don't fix it, I always say. So since the last two Recruitin' Babes have been from Thursday night NBC comedies, why stop now? There are so many more options, but this week's Babe holds a special place in my heart as a woman that is simultaneously gorgeous AND hilarious. I dare you to watch any of her SNL skits or Weekend Updates, or any of her later Parks and Rec episodes (the first season was iffy), or this scene from 'Baby Mama' and not bust out laughing. Without further ado, your Friday Recruitin' Babe...Amy Poehler (sorry, Will Arnett).

It's only the end of April, and there is already a recruiting buzz in the air, a marked departure from the Class of 2011's sluggish, underwhelming start. With the onset of the college football dead zone (end of spring ball to opening of fall practice), recruiting is all we have to live for; well, that and any new Rob Bolden developments (He's apartment hunting! But in what town?!?).

Two important recruiting notes at the outset of this week's report:

First, Monday marked the start of the Spring Evaluation period (for Penn State, at least; officially, the start was April 15), and many of the coaches will be on the road visiting recruits. As per usual, Lions247 nails the initial trip schedule ($) and an ongoing thread covering the whereabouts of the coaches ($).

Second, beginning today, Penn State will play host to a couple of camps for high school players. On Friday, ESPN's regional Elite 11 quarterback camp will feature some top passers in the area. Then, on Saturday the Nike Combine will take place, also featuring much of the top 2012 and 2013 talent. Once again, Sean has your early list of visitors ($) for the weekend, a list that includes commits and recruits alike, and is very impressive, talentwise.

Finally, please continue to donate to the relief efforts in Alabama, either through the Red Cross, or through the Penn State blog community's concerted efforts, diligently coordinated by Friend of the Program Ben, from VBR.

Recruiting News - Offers, Visits, and Other Information
  • Another Penn State vs. Ohio State battle for a Jeannette (Pa.) H.S. star player is shaping up, as safety Demetrious Cox picked up an Ohio State offer last weekend. Bill Kurelic of 247Sports has more ($).
  • mGo's Big Ten Recruiting Rankings keep PSU at No. 3 (No. 2 in actual conference members).
  • The U.S. Marine Corps announced sponsorship of another high school all-star game which, by all accounts, appears to be the exact same thing as the U.S. Army All-American Bowl and the Under Armour All-American Bowl. They plan to invite "the few and the proud" but with Tom Lemming's backing, this should end up just being another over-hyped, over-produced Notre Dame lovefest. PA RB Greg Garmon is set to appear in the first game, to be held annually in Phoenix.
  • Former four-star CB Cullen Christian from Pittsburgh-area Penn Hills HS is returning home, transferring to Pitt from Michigan ($ - info in header). Before anyone says "Why didn't PSU pursue him!?!", Penn State rarely takes D1 transfers, and I'd be willing to bet a Stanley Nickel that Christian was barred from transferring to any B1G program regardless.
  • JC Shurburtt has some quick notes about the teams that have come out of the gate quickly in the Class of 2012, including the Nittany Lions.
  • Penn State is one of the big early storylines of the 2012 cycle. The Nittany Lions could finish with a monster class as four of their current six pledges are rated four-stars or higher, including five-star defensive tackle Jarron Jones (Rochester, N.Y./Aquinas). Four-star linebacker Camren Williams (West Roxbury, Mass./Catholic Memorial) and defensive tackle Jamil Pollard (Westville, N.J./West Deptford) also are highly-regarded early commits.
  • Also from 247Sports, Steve Wiltfong has some encouraging words for '12 PSU commit Jamil Pollard.
  • After seeing Top247 defensive lineman Jamil Pollard (Westville, N.J./West Deptford) in person on Thursday, it’s obvious why many were talking him up as the potential top prospect in South Jersey for the 2012 class. The nation’s No. 156 overall prospect, a Penn State commit, has long arms, an athletic build and his height/weight is legitimate. Combine that with what you see on film from him and Penn State is getting a great prospect.
  • TomVH doin' his thing at mGo, this time with no real common thread to PSU, but some players are receiving interest from both teams. Use that link to find out more about UM's two new TE commits, Devin Funchess (4* Scout) and AJ Williams (3* Scout).
  • Georgia OLB Markuss Eligwe is a Florida State Seminole; Penn State had a less than 1% chance with Eligwe, but he represents the new "offer top recruits all over and see what happens" strategy. It didn't work this time, but who knows what will happen next time. 
  • OH RB Bri'onte Dunn has re-opened his recruitment because of the OSU mess. It's not clear if PSU has approached Dunn (who intends to visit Michigan), but since we're already looking at another highly rated OH RB in Will Mahone, it would make sense to look at Dunn as well.
  • OH RB Will Mahone ($) and PA OL Chris Muller ($) trimmed their lists to 10 and 5, respectively. Penn State made each cut, and is rumored to be the clubhouse leader for each. 
  • Finally, the man whose sole commitment could turn this from a good/great class to a "one of the best ever" classes (yea, I took it there), Noah Spence. The answer to the question in the title of the article is Yes, and the Lions may be on top at the moment.
Everything Else - Fun Links, Non-2012 Recruits, and Anything Else of Note
  • ESPN's Bruce Feldman answers @JohnTCpsu's question about Penn State's 2011 chances to win the Big Ten.
  • The October 8 showdown between Ohio State and Nebraska will be a night game, per 247Sports ($ - info in header). Penn State hosts Iowa that afternoon (time not yet set), so it should be a decent day of football.
  • Friend of the program Kevin from Slow States take on beer being sold in stadiums, an idea spearheaded by the exact university you would guess. 
  • Anthony Hubbard, the 26 year old ex-felon basketball JUCO transfer, will be an Iowa Hawkeye ($ - info in header). PSU fans can now stop pretending they didn't care that Hubbard was a 26 year old ex-felon. 
  • By the time this article is published, the Penn State men's volleyball team should be one win away from another NCAA Championship berth. They will have hosted Rutgers-Newark on Thursday night and the conference championship is Saturday night. NCAA tournament play starts next Thursday, May 5, live from University Park, PA.

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