As we head into the NCAA’s recruiting dead period this week, it’s hard to imagine that Penn State could’ve had a better postseason so far.
The Nittany Lions have added five recruits since topping Wisconsin in the season finale. Zayd Issah, Jonathan Walton, DaeSean Hamilton and Anthony Smith all committed on the Sunday of the recruiting weekend two weeks ago and junior college quarterback Tyler Ferguson committed Friday.
Yes, Penn State suffered a bit of a setback when Iowa Western quarterback Jake Waters surprised most people by picking Kansas State. But it only took one day for Bill O’Brien and his staff to target and snag Ferguson.
Most analysts feel Issah, a three-star linebacker from Central Dauphin, is the cream of the latest commitments but Hamilton is highly touted as well. And Ferguson, at the very least, will add much needed depth to the quarterback position. Before Ferguson’s verbal, Steven Bench was the only scholarship QB on the roster heading in to spring practice.
The recent additions bring Penn State’s recruiting class to 18. Where the class ranks, depends on what service you look at.
Rivals ranks the class as No. 36; 247 Sports ranks the Nittany Lions’ class at No. 16; Scout.com ranks Penn State at 33 and ESPN ranks Penn State as the No. 24 class.
As has been previously stated five members of the class will enroll in January and count against the 2012 class total.
Those five January enrollees include Ferguson, Adam Breneman, Richy Anderson, Jordan Smith and Anthony Smith.
That leaves the 2013 class total at 13 – meaning there are still two scholarships to hand out.
Speculation on who might fill those two spots centers around Deondre Singleton, a two-star defensive back from Lawrenceville, Ga., Tyler Boyd, who just helped lead Clairton to a PIAA Class A state championship and Garret Dooley, a three-star linebacker from Illinois.
Dooley is a Wisconsin commit but the Badgers staff has been totally ripped since Bret Bielema left for Arkansas. Dooley, understandably, wants to see who gets named coach at Wisconsin before making a decision.
Singleton’s other offers are from Duke, Marshall and Appalachian State so it wouldn’t be hard to see him taking PSU’s offer.
Boyd is a highly sought after four-star wide receiver that has 17 offers. Penn State is still going after him hard although the Lions probably aren’t the favorite at this point.
Other players Penn State is still targeting include four-star running back David Williams from Philadelphia and four-star linebacker Trey Johnson from Lawrenceville, Ga. It would hard to classify Penn State as anything but long shots for either player.
If the Lions only get one of these additional players, it’s probably a good bet that the staff holds at least one scholarship for an early enrollee next year.
Currently, the Penn State class consists of: Richy Anderson (RB), Brandon Bell (LB), Adam Breneman (TE), Curtis Cothran (DE), Parker Cothren (DE), Tyler Ferguson (QB), Kasey Gaines (DB), Christian Hackenberg (QB), DaeSean Hamilton (WR), Tanner Hartman (OL), Zayd Issah (LB), Brendan Mahon (OL), Andrew Nelson (OL), Neiko Robinson (DB), Garrett Sickels (DE), Anthony Smith (DB), Jordan Smith (DB) and Jonathan Walton (LB).
Follow Marty Valania on Twitter @EastRecruiting.