Penn State Signing Day Thread
Signing day is upon us. And so long as the fax machines keep functioning through this winter storm, Penn State should have about 20 recruits officially signed with it by the end of the day. I'll update here as they become official, per Penn State's nifty recruiting website.
12:30 p.m.: It's complete. Penn State has filled out the rest of its 20-person class for the year 2014. I'll have more coverage online and in the paper tomorrow re: James Franklin's press conference and evening signing day event. Here are the last two signees:
Running back Mark Allen, Hyattsville, Md. (5-7, 190): Allen was named honorable mention All-State last fall. He played football for DeMatha Catholic, one of the best teams in Maryland every year and always a significant target for Penn State.
Safety Marcus Allen, Upper Marlboro, Md. (6-2, 200): Allen missed most of his senior season with an injury. 24-7 Sports and Scout consider him a four-star prospect.
11:30 a.m.: So Penn State did something it never has before this morning. Rather than just announce the signings of the team's new recruits, James Franklin and his staff had a celebration of sorts. They invited some fans, some current players and some media to the Lasch Building and when recruits were ready to officially sign. They acted as though they were drafting them for the NFL. Guest speakers such as soccer coach Bob Warming announced the signings, and the Blue Band even stopped by. Check out the vid:
Apparently Vanderbilt did the same thing last year. It was fancy, elaborate stuff. In one corner, they had free breakfast - omelets, yum - in one corner and a draft-style board in the other.
Franklin and his staff were milling around chatting with visitors when they weren't on their cell phones. I already overheard Franklin talking to another recruit about next year. He really seems to have all this recruiting stuff figured out.
10:30 a.m.: Make it 17 now for Penn State. Here are the next seven who have signed since the last update. Also, I have updated the bios of the players from earlier.
Running back Johnathan Thomas, Danvers, MA (5-11, 220): Thomas played at the same high school Bill O'Brien attended. He had nearly 1,800 yards rushing last year and is known as a downhill runner a la Zach Zwinak.
Defensive back/athlete Koa Farmer, Sherman Oaks, Calif. (6-1, 205): Farmer played wide receiver, running back and defensive back as a senior.
Defensive lineman/athlete Torrence Brown, Tuscaloosa, Ala. (6-4, 240): Brown was a late addition for Penn State, having not previously committed like the others who have signed so far. He had 105 tackles as a senior and also played running back for his high school.
Running back Nick Scott, Fairfax, Va. (6-0, 190): Scott has been committed to Penn State for several months. He had 1,582 rushing yards during his senior season last fall.
Offensive tackle Brendan Brosnan, Park Ridge, Ill. (6-6, 285): Brosnan was originally committed to Vanderbilt. He is 6-6 and weighs 285 pounds.
Tight end Mike Gesicki, Manahawkin, N.J. (6-5, 245): Chose Penn State over teams like Ohio State and Florida State. Will add depth to Penn State's strong tight end position.
Wide receiver Chris Godwin, Middletown, De. (6-2, 205): Like Saeed Blacknall, Godwin is expected to help fill in for the departed Allen Robinson. He's a four-star recruit.
Defensive back DaQuan Worley, Coatesville, Pa. (5-10, 180): One of the best defensive backs in the PIAA, his senior season was slowed down by an injury in October.
Wide receiver Saeed Blacknall, Manalapan, N.J. (6-2, 210): Blacknall is considered Penn State's top recruit. He's a four-star wide receiver who had offers from Florida State and Alabama among others. He had over 700 yards receiving last year.
8:30 a.m.: Early on, Penn State already has nearly half of its class signed. In addition to the five early enrollees, eight more players are officially with Penn State now. Here they are below. I will update with more information on each signee shortly - Penn State is hosting a "war room" type of event I must attend and I'll be back online after that with updates, too.
Linebacker Jason Cabinda, Flemington, N.J. (6-1, 240): Cabinda played on both sides of the ball in his high school career, rushing for more than 2,600 yards his last two years as a running back.
Offensive lineman Noah Beh, Scranton, Pa. (6-6, 260): Beh played defensive line and offensive line at Scranton Prep. Considered a three-star prospect by Rivals.
Offensive tackle Chance Sorrell, Middletown, Ohio (6-6, 270): Sorrell played tight end in high school, grabbing 15 receptions last fall. He is considered a three-star prospect by Rivals.
Wide receiver Troy Apke, Mt. Lebanon, Pa. (6-2, 195): First-team All-Pennsylvania, Apke had 40 receptions for 728 yards last fall.
Cornerback Amani Oruwariye, Tampa, Fla. (6-1, 185): He had 47 tackles as a senior and is considered a three-star prospect by Rivals.
Cornerback Grant Haley, Atlanta, Ga. (5-10, 185): He played both ways as a running back and cornerback, totaling six interceptions last fall. Haley was sought after by several SEC schools.
Athlete/QB Trace McSorley, Ashburn, Va. (6-0, 190): Originally a Vandy commit, McSorley helped lead his team to three Virginia state titles as a quarterback.
Linebacker Troy Reeder, Wilmington, Del. (6-2, 235): Reeder had 76 tackles last fall and helped lead his team to a state title.