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.