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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 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 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.

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.