With over a week left until we know where Penn State will be bowling, this is a good time to catch up with recruiting.
The biggest news is the Baltimore City College High School wide receiver Adrian Coxson, who verbally committed to Penn State in May, will visit Florida this weekend. Many doom and gloomers think Coxson is already gone and it didn’t help when he told GatorBait.net when asked if was solid to Penn State, “I’d probably rather not say right now.” This could be taken two ways: a.) Coxson has reopened things and is back on the market, or, b.) wants to make sure Penn State is the place for him and he’s doing this by taking visits to schools (something Joe Paterno encourages) that would probably not host him if he was a solid Penn State commit. The opportunity to play early at Florida, which will lose five receivers and its three top pass catchers, is attractive, but I think Coxson will end up a Nittany Lion. Former Penn State star and Detroit Lions wide receiver Bryant Johnson is a Baltimore City College HS alum has a good relationship with Coxson and Larry Johnson just doesn’t lose recruits.
Gulf Coast Community College (Miss.) defensive tackle James Carmon was told that there is no room at the inn for him and that would have to be a lot of room for Carmon, who is 6-foot-7, 370 pounds. There was some talk that Penn State was more interested in Carmon as an offensive tackle because of his athleticism, but he’d probably have to lose at least 30 pounds and that’s only if his listed playing weight is accurate. Brandon Ware has been in Paterno’s doghouse because of his weight so the Lions probably weren’t interested in a similar situation.
With 20 committed players (that includes Coxson) the Nittany Lions will probably take three more players in this class. The top choices would be George Washington High (Philadelphia) defensive tackle Shariff Floyd, Stephenson (Stone Hill, Ga.,) defensive tackle Mike Thornton and Byrnes High School (Duncan, S.C.) running back Marcus Lattimore. It doesn’t look good for Floyd (who looks to be leaning toward Ohio State) or Lattimore (who has been long thought to be heading to South Carolina), but rumors are flying that Thornton could be a “silent verbal.” That was why some thought Carmon was told thanks, but no thanks. I don’t believe in silent verbals personally, but with Jared Odrick gone after this season and Tom McEweon and Ollie Ogbu gone after next there is playing time waiting to be had. Plus, Thornton has made only one official visit so far and that was to Penn State and he has established a good relationship with Johnson.
One last thing. Because of a large secondary class last year and three of four starters this season being sophomores, it didn’t look like Penn State would be looking for a defensive back. That changed when Darrell Givens didn’t qualify and bolted for Rutgers. The problem is that happened too late for Penn State to get in the game with this year’s top DBs (although it’s not an overly strong DB class). There is one DB the Nits are monitoring, Shyquawn Pullium from Erie Cathedral Prep. Grades, not skill, is the biggest question mark for Pullium, but if he can get the necessary test scores Penn State might offer and he’ll jump at it.