Coach Bill O'Brien added another prize to Penn State's 2013 recruiting class on Friday night when tight end prospect Adam Breneman gave his verbal commitment to play for the Nittany Lions.
The Camp Hill native caught 72 passes for 1,120 yards and 12 touchdowns this past season for Cedar Cliff High School, numbers he cashed in for massive hype from the recruiting services. Scout.com rates him a five-star recruit while Rivals.com and 247 Sports give him four stars. Both Scout and 247 Sports rank him as the top player at his position nationally, while Rivals slots him as the No. 22 overall prospect.
Breneman chose Penn State over three other finalists, Maryland, Ohio State and Notre Dame. His Rivals profile lists offers from dozens of schools, however, including Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Michigan, Nebraska, Pittsburgh, Tennessee and Wisconsin.
Measuring in at 6-foot-5, 220 pounds, Breneman sizes up nicely with New England Patriots tight ends Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez, who O'Brien used heavily in his offense while offensive coordinator. This past season, Gronkowski finished with 90 receptions for 1,327 yards and 17 touchdowns while Hernandez had 79 catches for 910 yards and seven scores.
If Breneman can be even a fraction as productive for Penn State, he'll make the tight end position a much, much bigger part of the offense than it was in 2011, when senior Andrew Szczerba led the Lions' tight ends with 12 catches for 101 yards.
Penn State now has verbal commitments from four prospects rated at least four stars by one recruiting service. The 2012 class had just two for the entire class, a clear indication of how strong a start the new staff is off to in the very early going. It should be interesting to see how many more top recruits this core group can lure to join them in Happy Valley.
Here is Breneman's highlight tape.
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