A few weeks ago, at the conclusion of the 2012 recruiting season (save for its finale), I began writing a review of the class. However it was never completed, something I apologize to both the you, the readers, as well as the rest of the Nittany Lion’s Den staff for. So here it is, the rest of the of the review. First up: Offensive Line.
Who we lost: Quinn Barham, Chima Okoli, DeOn’tae Pannell, Johnnie Troutman
Prospects needed: 3-4
Prospects signed: 2
Anthony Stanko (Warren, Ohio)
Wendy Laurent (Princeton, NJ)
Perhaps no position was as stressful to follow during the 2012 recruiting season at offensive line. Penn State felt like they had a chance to receive an early verbal from Patrick DeStefano (Clemson) back in May. After DeStefano became a Tiger, however, Penn State focused on a trio consisting of Chris Muller (Rutgers), Blake Bars (Michigan) and Joey O’Connor (Ohio State). It seemed as though all three blue-chippers would follow JJ Denman (Rutgers) to Penn State, but after the coaching staff reportedly mishandled the situation, only O’Connor pledged to the Nittany Lions. Following this debacle, Denman left for Wisconsin (and later to Pitt, and then the Scarlet Knights). Then when the events that took place in November rolled around, O’Connor abandoned ship and ended up at Ohio State.
However, despite all the frustration and turmoil that came from recruiting offensive linemen in this class, there were at least two bright spots.
The first, literally, was Anthony Stanko. On the 20th of March, Stanko became the first commitment of the 2012 class, as well as one of the earliest commitments in recent Penn State history. Listed at 6’5” and over 300 pounds, Stanko can play the guard positions but projects best at tackle.
The next was an under-the-radar prospect, Wendy Laurent. Laurent was offered a scholarship from only one other BCS conference school – Uconn – but is considered to have the raw size and footwork to become a steal for the Nittany Lions. He became part of the class after Coach McWhorter became part of the staff and offered a scholarship. At 6’4” and 285 pounds, Laurent projects best at the guard position.
(Image of Anthony Stanko courtesy of 247sports.com)