Penn State Recruiting: Nittany Lions Sign Class of 2012 Members

Follow this stream for Penn State recruiting news as the Nittany Lions approach National Signing Day.

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17 Total Updates since January 20, 2012
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Penn State Football Recruiting 2012: National Signing Day Recap

The Penn St. Nittany Lions and their new head coach Bill O'Brien are said to be pleased with the outcome of National Signing Day 2012. The school picked up a class of 19 recruits and will begin preparing for next season.

According to Mark Brennan at Scout.com, only eight of the 19 recruits had committed in the past month leading up to National Signing Day. The other 11 players had committed to Penn State long before the February 1 deadline to sign letters of intent.

The Nittany Lions did lose six recruits to other schools. Among those players who switched their commitments were five-star defensive tackle Tommy Schutt, four-star defensive back Armani Reeves and four-star linebacker Camren Williams. All three of those players committed to become Ohio State Buckeyes.

According to Rivals, PSU landed a pair of four-star recruits in wide receiver Eugene Lewis and defensive tackle Jamil Pollard.

Three-star recruits include quarterback Steven Bench, offensive linemen Brian Gaia and Anthony Stanko, athlete Malik Golden, tight ends Jesse James and Brent Wilkerson, defensive tackle Austin Johnson, defensive back Jordan Lucas, running back Akeel Lynch, linebacker Nyeem Wartman and wide receiver Trevor Williams.

The class was rounded out with six two-star recruits: defensive back Da'Quan Davis, defensive tackles Derek Dowrey and Wendy Laurent, athlete Jake Kiley, defensive end Evan Schwan and wide receiver Jonathan Warner.

For all news and information regarding the Penn State Nittany Lions, please visit Black Shoe Diaries or stay tuned to SB Nation PIttsburgh. For complete coverage of National Signing Day 2012, check out SB Nation's dedicated football recruiting hub.

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Penn State Recruiting: Nittany Lions Sign Five Defensive Line Prospects

Penn State signed five defensive line prospects, Jamil Pollard, Brian Gaia, Derek Dowrey, Austin Johnson and Evan Schwan to its 2012 recruiting class on Wednesday.

Pollard is given a four-star rating by Rivals.com and is arguably the headliner of the group. The 6-foot-5, 280-pound native of Westville, N.J. received a scout's grade of 79 from ESPN, which had this to say about his game.

Pollard is a big man who could play on either side of the ball. He will very likely land on defense, but a career on the offensive line can't be totally discounted. He has good size for either side of the ball.

Pollard's Rivals profile reports he turned down offers from Boston College, Alabama, Florida, Nebraska and Notre Dame among others to join the Nittany Lions. Below is one of his highlight videos.

Gaia is a two-way line player who owns a three-star rating from Rivals. A Baltimore, Md. native, Gaia measures in at 6-foot-5 and 285 pounds and had offers from Alabama, Boston College, Pittsburgh and West Virginia among others, according to his Rivals profile.

Dowery is given a 2-star rating by Rivals. The 6-foot-3, 279-pound Winchester, Va. native committed to the Lions in June over offers from East Carolina and West Virginia, according to his Rivals profile. ESPN gives him a scout's grade of 79 and breaks down his game like this.

Dowrey comes across as a tough, active, and fairly heady player in the trenches. He has good overall size and looks to possess a thick and sturdy build though he should be able to still pack on some more good mass and play comfortably at around 300 pounds.

Johnson is a 6-foot-4, 276-pound native of Richland, N.J. He is rated a three-star prospect by Rivals.com and picked the Nittany Lions over an offer from Villanova, according to his profile.

Schwan gave his verbal to Penn State this past Saturday. Check out SB Nation Pittsburgh's profile of him here.

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Penn State Recruiting: Nittany Lions Sign Three Defensive Backs

Three defensive back recruits signed on to Penn State's 2012 recruiting class on Wednesday.

Da'Quan Davis, teammate of wide receiver commit Trevor Williams, comes to Happy Valley out of Towson, Md. where the two played together at Calvert Hall and verbaled to new Penn State coach Bill O'Brien on Jan. 22.

Davis is rated a 2-star recruit by Rivals.com and measures in a 5-foot-11 and 172 pounds. His offer sheet included Marshall and West Virginia according to his Rivals profile.

Jordan Lucas, a 6-foot-1, 195-pound safety prospect, rounds out the group recruited for the defensive backfield. He became the first recruit to commit to O'Brien on Jan. 16 and turned down scholarship offers from Akron and Temple among others to do so according to his Rivals profile, which gives him a 3-star rating.

Jake Kiley fills out the defensive backfield recruiting class. He is a 2-star rated prospect from New Hampton, N.H. according to Rivals and measures in at 6-foot-1, 270 pounds. Here's an excerpt from his GoPSUSports.com bio.

Nominated to play in the U.S. Army All-American Football Bowl, Kiley tallied 30 tackles and three interceptions as a senior. He also rushed for eight touchdowns, threw two scores and caught five touchdowns on offense. In his junior season, the New Hampshire native made 47 tackles and four interceptions. He also scored 24 touchdowns (14 rushing, 10 passing) while playing quarterback. Kiley was named to the All-New England squad and Most Valuable Player in the Evergreen League in 2010.

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Penn State Recruiting: Nittany Lions Sign Steven Bench, Akeel Lynch

Recent commits Akeel Lynch and Steven Bench signed on to join Penn State's 2012 recruiting class on Wednesday.

Lynch is a 6-foot, 205-pound running back prospect out of Athol Springs, N.Y. He gave his verbal commitment to the Nittany Lions on Jan. 21, the day before former legendary coach Joe Paterno passed away at the age of 85. Lynch is rated a 3-star prospect by Rivals.com, and his profile there says he turned down offers from a number of schools including Boston College, Illinois, Iowa, Oklahoma and Syracuse to play in Happy Valley. Rivals rates him No. 29 at his position and No. 3 among prospects hailing from New York.

Bench de-committed from Rice to give Penn State his verbal commitment on Jan. 24. His Rivals profile says the 3-star rated prospect was also being pursued by Georgia State and Jacksonville State among others. in case you missed it the first time, here's a link to our profile of Bench from the day after his commitment.

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Penn State Recruiting: Nittany Lions Sign Eugene Lewis, To Sign Other Receivers

Penn State signed Eugene Lewis and Trevor Williams on Wednesday, and should add two other wide receivers to its 2012 recruiting class as well

Lewis, a Plymouth native out of Wyoming Valley West High School, headlines the group if not the entire recruiting class. He is ranked a four-star recruit by Rivals.com, Scout.com and 247 Sports, while ESPN gave him a scout's grade of 80. According to Rivals, he picked Penn State over many programs, including Illinois, Michigan State, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pittsburgh and Wisconsin. He measures in a 6-foot-2, 180 pounds. Here's a breakdown of his game from his Scout profile.

Lewis has the potential to be a star at the next level. As a sophomore, he showed the skill set that college coaches dream of. He has an outstanding frame and is such a smooth and fluid athlete. He won’t shatter any speed records running a forty-yard dash, but he has a different speed with the ball in his hands. He has exceptional field vision and runs like a scat-back. He is very instinctive and always makes things happen.

Here is one of his highlight videos.

Malik Golden and Jonathan Warner are expected to join Lewis and Trevor Williams (who has already signed) as wide receivers in this class.

Golden, a 6-foot-1, 185-pound native of Hartford, Conn. is a consensus 3-star prospect (Rivals, Scout) and received a scout's grade of 76 from ESPN. He turned down offers from several schools, including Connecticut, Iowa and Akron to sign with the Nittany Lions, according to his Rivals profile. Here's ESPN's breakdown of his game.

Golden is a versatile athlete who can help move the chains in a lot of ways on offense. May get a look at safety or corner as well; he possesses good range, length and breaks well on the ball. Overall he has good size for a college skill prospect

Warner joins the class as a legacy recruit, the son of former Penn State All-American running back Curt Warner. Jonathan measures in at 6-foot-1 and 200 pounds. Rivals has given him a two-star rating. You can check out his highlight video here.

Williams, meanwhile, played both safety and wide receiver at Calvert Hall. Rivals rates the 6-foot-2, 190-pound player a three-star prospect. West Virginia was also among his suitors, along with schools including Bryant, Morgan State and Toledo.

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Penn State Recruiting: Nittany Lions Sign Two Offensive Linemen

Penn State signed three offensive linemen to its 2012 recruiting class on Wednesday.

Anthony Stanko is a 6-foot-5, 305-pound tackle prospect from Howland, Ohio. The 3-star rated recruit committed to the Nittany Lions last March over offers from Kent State, Akron, Northwestern, Stanford and West Virginia according to Rivals.com. He is rated No. 46 at his position nationally and No. 37 in his state.

Wendy Laurent committed to Penn State on Jan. 24 out of Hamilton, N.J. He is a 2-star rated prospect and according to his Rivals page, Lauren passed on offers from Bucknell, Connecticut, Navy, Massachusetts and others in selecting the Lions. He measures in at 6-foot-4, 285 pounds.

Brian Gaia could also end up along the offensive line at some point, though he's leaning toward seeing most of his action the the defensive side of the ball.

For the latest on Penn State's signing day efforts, be sure to stay tuned to SB Nation Pittsburgh throughout the day.

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Penn State Recruiting: Nittany Lions Sign Two Tight Ends

Penn State signed two tight end recruits to its 2012 recruiting class on Wednesday.

Jesse James, a South Allegheny standout from Glassport, measures in at 6-foot-7, 248 pounds and is a 3-star recruit according to Rivals.com. ESPN, meanwhile, gives him a scout's grade of 78 and offers this scouting report.

This James may not be an outlaw but his size and ability to run could help make this tight end a wanted man. The big prospect has plenty of height and good bulk and should be able to add more size to his frame with time in a college...

You can check out one of his highlight films below.

Brent Wilkerson is also a 3-star rated recruit by Rivals and picked Penn State over Boston College, Clemson, Michigan, Nebraska, West Virginia, Iowa and Illinois among others according to his profile there. He measures in at 6-foot-4, 245 pounds and is ranked No. 17 at his position nationally.

His scouting report at ESPN, which gives him a scout's grade of 79, says this.

Wilkerson plays both ways in high school. He is a good high school tight end, but could likely land and fit best on defense in college. He is a kid with good size and displays a frame that can carry some more mass as he continues to physically develop.

Below is his highlight reel.

For the latest on Penn State's signing day efforts, be sure to stay tuned to SB Nation Pittsburgh throughout the day.

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Penn State Recruiting: Nittany Lions Sign Nyeem Wartman

Penn State signed Nyeem Wartman early Wednesday, the only linebacker to commit to the Nittany Lions' 2012 recruiting class.

Watman, a 6-foot-3, 240-pound native of Jessup comes to Penn State from Valley View High School where, according to his bio on GoPSUSports.com, he racked up 115 tackles, 10 for a loss, two forced fumbles and one interception. He also ran track in high school for Valley View's 400-meter relay team.

Rivals rates Wartman a 3-star prospect and No. 35 at his position nationally. ESPN gives him a scout's grade of 75 and breaks down his game like this.

Wartman is an impressive looking linebacker prospect with a striking blend of size and straight-line speed. Potential sleeper with the physical tools he presents to develop. Needs to work on his bend and flexibility but has a lot of tools to develop at either the inside or outside position...

Check out Wartman's highlight video below.

For the latest on Penn State signing day efforts, be sure to stay tuned to SB Nation Pittsburgh.

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Penn State Football Recruiting: Bill O'Brien In For Strange National Signing Day

When the NLIs start rolling in via the fax machine on Wendesday, Penn St. Nittany Lions head coach Bill O'Brien won't be on the other end to collect them. He's still with the New England Patriots getting ready for the 2012 Super Bowl.

So you can imagine that the incoming Penn State coach is in for a challenge this week.

"It's not a good thing for Penn State," said Mike Farrell, Rivals' national recruiting analyst. "I don't know the inner workings. I don't know if he said, 'Yeah, I'll take the job, but I need this.' And Penn State was desperate. It's not like people were lining up for the job. It's a tough job. But if you're Penn State, selfishly, you had to be hoping New England would get knocked out in the first round. I've said this before -- Penn State fans should've been rooting against the Patriots, to get their coach on campus."

Five high-profile recruits once committed to Penn State have defected in recent weeks and the class has slumped to 46th in some rankings. A lot of that is likely out of O'Brien's control, but the longer he's away, the less impact he can make on the program and its new recruits.

For the latest on Penn State's recruiting efforts ahead of National Signing Day, be sure to stay tuned to SB Nation Pittsburgh.

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Penn State Recruiting: Armani Reeves Selects Ohio State

Urban Meyer has done it again.

The new Ohio State coach plucked yet another recruit from Penn State's 2012 recruiting class on Sunday night when Catholic Memorial (Mass.) cornerback Armani Reeves announced his commitment to the Buckeyes on his Twitter page.

The 5-foot-9, 185-pound defensive back committed to Penn State and the late Joe Paterno on Aug. 12, following Catholic Memorial teammate Camren Williams' selection. When Paterno was fired on Nov. 9 in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal, however, both Reeves and Williams re-opened their respective recruitments.

Williams committed to the Buckeyes earlier this month, and it appears Reeves will now follow him once again. The pair will join former Penn State pledges Joey O'Connor and Tommy Schutt in Columbus, who also switched their verbals after Paterno was let go.

Reeves is rated a four-star recruit, according to Rivals.com. That service ranks him the No. 17-rated prospect at his position and lists him as having offers from a multitude of programs including Iowa, Michigan, Notre Dame and Virginia.

For the latest on Penn State's recruiting efforts ahead of National Signing Day, be sure to stay tuned to SB Nation Pittsburgh.

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Penn State Recruiting: Evan Schwan Commits To Nittany Lions

Penn State coach Bill O'Brien is away from Happy Valley helping his New England Patriots prepare for next weekend's Super Bowl, but his 2012 recruiting class continued to grow on Saturday when the Nittany Lions defensive end prospect Evan Schwan committed to Penn State according to Blue White Illustrated's Ryan Snyder.

Schwan is a 6-foot-6, 235-pound strongside end from Harrisburg's Central Dauphin High School. Rivals.com rates him a two-star prospect, while 247 Sports and Scout.com each give him three stars. ESPN describes his game this way.

He's an impressive combination of size and athleticism. At 6-foot-6, 230-pounds, Schwan posted combine-verified figures including a 4.83 40-yard dash, 4.41 20-yard shuttle and 28.1-inch vertical.

According to his Rivals profile, Schwan held offers from a number of schools, including Connecticut, Iowa, Kent State, Rutgers and Temple. He is the eighth prospect to commit to Bill O'Brien portion of the 2012 recruiting class, all this after Penn State lost quarterback pledge Skyler Mornhinweg to Florida on Friday.

Below are Schwan's highlights from his senior season.


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Steven Bench, Wendy Laurent Commit To Penn State

Recruits Steven Bench and Wendy Laurent are the latest to join Penn State's 2012 recruiting class after pledging their commitments to new coach Bill O'Brien on Tuesday according to a pair of tweets from Lions 247. The pair brings the total number of new recruits to commit under O'Brien to seven, six of whom have verbaled in the past three days.

Bench is a 6-foot-3, 206-pound quarterback recruit from Cairo, Ga. who had originally given his commitment to Rice. After visiting Happy Valley this weekend, however, he flipped his commitment to the Nittany Lions and joins Skyler Mornhinweg in Penn State's 2012 quarterback stable. Philly.com's Rick O'Brien reported a couple of days ago that Mornhinweg is looking at other schools, however, so Bench's commitment could provide valuable insurance in the event Mornhinweg jumps ship.

In addition to Rice, Bench had scholarship offers from Georgia State, Jacksonville State, Samford and South Alabama according to his Rivals.com page. The page also says he was recruited by Kirby Smart at Alabama, though he is not listed as having an offer from the Crimson Tide. ESPN, which gives Bench a Scout's Grade of 76, breaks his game down this way.

Bench is a prospect that may be flying under the radar a bit likely due to the offensive scheme he is playing in with limited passing opportunities. Plays in a hybrid Wing-T scheme with limited snaps out of the shotgun and a heavy dose of play action

Below are some highlights from his senior season.

Laurent, meanwhile, is a 2-star rated center prospect (according to Rivals) out of Hun School in Princeton, N.J. He measures in at 6-foot-4, 285 pounds and his Rivals page says he had offers from a number of schools including Buffalo, Connecticut, Navy and Massachusetts.

Here is his highlight video.


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Da'Quan Davis, Trevor Williams, Akeel Lynch And Jonathan Warner Commit To Penn State

January 22, 2012 will forever be remembered as the day Penn State lost the face of its community. In the twilight of one Nittany Lion story, however, dawn broke on four new ones as recruits Akeel Lynch, Da'Quan Davis, Trevor Williams and Jonathan Warner committed to play football for new Penn State head coach Bill O'Brien, according to various reports by Sean Fitz of Lions 247.

Lynch is a 6-foot, 205-pound running back recruit from Athol Springs, N.Y. He is rated as a three-star prospect and is the No. 29-rated player at his position and No. 3-rated player in his state according to Rivals.com. ESPN gives him a scout's grade of 75 and describes his game this way.

Potential sleeper, Lynch is a shifty, well-built back with quality running skill and load-carrier attributes. Sturdy, consistent runner without a lot of flash but moves the chains for good production. Has a solid build and very good body composition for a running back prospect.

Rivals reports Lynch had offers from a number of schools including Oklahoma, Illinois, Iowa and Boston College. Below is his highlight tape.


Davis and Williams are teammates from Calvert Hall in Towson, Md.

Davis is a 5-foot-11, 172-pound quarterback who earns a two-star ranking, according to Rivals.com. ESPN gives him a Scout's grade of 76, and breaks him down like this:

Davis just needs a bit more size and explosiveness to be considered a household name on the recruiting trail. He has very good instincts, fundamentals and overall coverage skills. Lacks ideal height, bulk and strength but he finds the ball naturally in coverage and shows flashes of good lock-down skills.

His Rivals lists Marshall and West Virginia as schools that also offered him scholarships, in addition to Penn State.

Here is Davis' highlight tape.



Williams, meanwhile, is a 6-foot-2, 190-pound wide receiver and a 3-star recruit according to Rivals. His ESPN Scout's Grade comes in as a 74 and that outlet offers this on him.

Williams is a nice blend of size and athleticism. He is a strong runner with nimble feet, but he is not a blazer. He has enough speed to be a competent threat down the sideline due to his size and he possesses elusiveness to be able to be a factor

His offer sheet included Bryant, Morgan State, Toledo, Virginia Military Academy and West Virginia.

Here is Williams' highlight tape.

Both Williams and Davis were recruited by defensive line coach Larry Johnson Sr., according to their profiles.

Warner, a 6-foot-1, 200-pound wide receiver from Camas, Wash. is a legacy recruit, the son of former Penn State All-American running back Curt Warner. Rivals rates him a two-star prospect. Below is his highlight video.


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Penn State Recruiting: Nittany Lions Lose Camren Williams, Keep Malik Golden

Penn State's 2012 recruiting efforts hit a bit of a snag on Friday when Catholic Memorial's (Mass.) Camren Williams switched his commitment from the Nittany Lions to new Ohio State coach Urban Meyer and the Buckeyes. Williams announced the move on his Twitter account.

The 6-foot-2, 215-pound inside linebacker committed to former Penn State head coach Joe Paterno in March, and was vocal in trying to bring fellow recruits with him to Happy Valley, but Paterno's firing in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal led Williams to rethink his decision. Now, the 4-star rated recruit (according to Rivals.com) is heading to Columbus.

The bad news was balanced out by some good on Friday, however, as Scout.com's Brian Dohn reported Cheshire, Conn. two-way athlete Malik Golden re-committed to the Nittany Lions after exploring his options in the wake of the scandal.

Golden is a 3-star rated recruit according to Rivals.com and had scholarship offers from a number of schools including Iowa, Connecticut and Boston College.

For the latest on Penn State's recruiting efforts ahead of National Signing Day, be sure to stay tuned to SB Nation Pittsburgh.

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