Defensive end is the position to watch in this year's Pennsylvania defensive class. Four of the top 65 nationally ranked defensive ends hail from the state, and three of them have yet to give a verbal commitment.
Top recruit (defense)
Derrick Morgan, defensive end
Considering: Penn State, Ohio State, NC State, Georgia Tech, Miami, Boston College
A state that produced football tough guys like Steelers great Jack Ham and Bears great Mike Ditka expects a certain level of grit from its players. Well, Morgan is capable of delivering that style of football.
Right off the bat, you like his size (6-foot-4, 260 pounds), motor and attitude. He explodes off the ball, and though he can be a little wild sometimes, he just needs to rely on technique a little more.
Morgan has already visited Georgia Tech and has dates set to visit Miami, Penn State, Ohio State and NC State, and a decision probably will not come until after the season.
"I have a pros and cons list for every college, like who has the most to offer me besides a scholarship, how I get along with the coaches, and the academics of course," Morgan says.
Player under the radar (defense)
Max Suter, safety
Central Christian (Greensburg, Pa.)
It has been a tough stretch for Syracuse football fans with wins on the field and on the recruiting trail hard to come by, but Max Suter is a bright spot.
He will not get a lot of press -- and that is why he is in this section -- but he can be one of the building blocks to help Syracuse get back on track. Suter is not a physical freak -- he lacks ideal size and is not an amazing natural athlete, but he's a "football player" and has an excellent motor and a nose for the football. It is not always about how fast you can run or high you can jump, sometimes it is about being able to play the game and make things happen.
Suter has physical limitations, but he can play the game. Syracuse has a ways to go, but getting a guy like Suter who plays with heart and determination is a step in the right direction.
On the trail
Usually the phrase "no news is good news" is meant to be a positive thing, but not in this instance. The recruiting of Pennsylvania defensive prospects does not see any early winners and not much action really. Penn State has two verbals, led by talented hometown product Nathan Stupar out of State College High.
Some good players remain available, but 2007 will not be an outstanding class for Pennsylvania defensive prospects.
Tom Luginbill is the national director of recruiting for Scouts, Inc. Tom is a college football and recruiting studio analyst for ESPNU.