- Brad Bournival, RecruitingNation
With a little more than five months left in the 2014 recruiting process, there looks to be five spots remaining to fill out Penn State’s class.
Though NCAA sanctions say the Nittany Lions can’t take more than 15 in a class, Penn State can get it up to 17 by playing the numbers game and getting pledges to enroll early.
Here are the top five targets for the Nittany Lions and a look at what might happen before February.
1. DT Thomas Holley (Brooklyn, N.Y./Lincoln)
6-foot-4, 303 pounds
ESPN 300 rank: 86
Offers: Alabama, Baylor, Boston College, Clemson, Connecticut, Florida, Florida State, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Miami (Fla.), Nebraska, North Carolina State, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Ole Miss, Penn State, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, Syracuse, Temple, Tennessee, USC, Vanderbilt
The skinny: The four-star standout is ready to start taking official visits after making an unofficial visit to Syracuse earlier this month. There’s a strong possibility he’ll visit Florida, Florida State, Notre Dame and Ohio State, with the Nittany Lions or Syracuse getting the other visit. Should he choose to visit the Buckeyes on Oct. 26 for the Penn State game, he could see all six teams.
2. ATH Dravon Henry (Aliquippa, Pa./Aliquippa)
ESPN 300 rank: 131
Offers: Arkansas, Baylor, Connecticut, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Illinois, Indiana, Louisville, Maryland, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Carolina State, Ohio State, Penn State, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, South Carolina, Tennessee, UCLA, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Wisconsin
The skinny: After visiting West Virginia over the weekend, Henry will more than likely stay close to home and take in a Pittsburgh game. His top four schools are West Virginia, Penn State, Pitt and Ohio State. Don’t expect a commitment any time soon, but the Nittany Lions are in a good position with Henry.
3. ATH Montae Nicholson (Monroeville, Pa./Gateway)
ESPN 300 rank: 252
Offers: Arizona, Boston College, Bowling Green, Florida State, Illinois, Kentucky, Miami (Fla.), Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio State, Oregon, Penn State, Pittsburgh, Purdue, Robert Morris, Rutgers, Stanford, Temple, Texas Tech, Toledo, Vanderbilt, Virginia Tech, West Virginia
The skinny: Nicholson has a top 12 of Florida State, Georgia Tech, Miami (Fla.), Michigan, Michigan State, Oregon, Penn State, Pitt, Stanford, Temple, Virginia Tech and West Virginia. The cut is coming soon, but the fact Nicholson made a visit earlier this month has to help. Expect Penn State to make the cut.
4. TE Mike Gesicki (Manahawkin, N.J./Southern Regional)
ESPN 300 rank: Unranked
Offers: Boston College, Connecticut, Duke, Florida State, Massachusetts, Miami (Fla.), Ohio State, Old Dominion, Penn State, Rutgers, Syracuse, Tulane, Wisconsin, Yale
The skinny: The three-star senior has been busy, with trips to Rutgers, Penn State and Wisconsin in the last month. Possible officials could go to Rutgers, Ohio State and Wisconsin, with Florida State, Miami (Fla.) and Penn State still in the mix. Don’t expect a commitment anytime soon. The Nittany Lions could be on the outside looking in on this one.
5. RB Qadree Ollison (Buffalo, N.Y./Canisius)
ESPN 300 rank: Unranked
Offers: Boston College, Buffalo, Cincinnati, Connecticut, Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, Nevada, Penn State, Pitt, Rutgers, Syracuse, Temple, Wisconsin
The skinny: Ollison already has official visits set up for Pitt and Wisconsin. He’s got a top five of Penn State, Pitt, Rutgers, Syracuse and Wisconsin, with every team equal. Expect a commitment soon, but don’t get too excited about the Nittany Lions’ chances.