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Thursday July 31 2014
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Penn State Football Recruiting

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An early look at Penn State's verbal commitments for the class of 2013

Brandon Bell, LB, Oakcrest (NJ) HS
The 6-2, 215-pound Bell from Oakcrest High School chose the Nittany Lions over offers from Rutgers and West Virginia, among others. 


Zach Bradshaw, ATH, Damascus (MD) HS
Bradshaw is a versatile athlete who, at 6-3, 205-pounds, can play wide receiver, linebacker or safety. He was one of the most highly recruited athletes in Maryland and turned down offers from Arizona, West Virginia, Michigan, South Carolina and at least ten others. 


Adam Brenemen, TE, Cedar Cliff
The top-rated tight end in the nation, the 6-5, 230-pound Camp Hill native had almost 40 offers from across the country. He caught a whopping 72 passes for 1,120 yards and a dozen touchdowns as a junior, rocketing him up the national recruiting charts. His receiving skills figure to be utilized in much the same way Rob Gronkowski’s skills were in Bill O’Brien’s offense. Brenemen tore his ACL during a summer tournament and will miss his senior season.


Curtis Cothran, DE, Council Rock North
A 6-5, 225-pound weakside defensive end, Cothran chose the Lions over offers from Maryland and Rutgers. He committed over the spring, in the midst of a large recruiting haul for Penn State.


Ross Douglas, CB, Avon (OH)
One of the top athletes in Ohio, the 5-10, 180-pound Douglas rushed for 15 touchdowns and 1,119 yards and also had 40 tackles, 13 passes defended and an interception. He runs a 4.4 forty and had over a dozen offers, including Tennessee, Kentucky, Louisville and Purdue. He’ll play cornerback for Penn State.


William Fuller, WR, Roman Catholic
A lanky receiver with a lot of smaller offers, Fuller is Penn State’s most recent commit. He caught 48 passes a year ago, for 736 yards and 10 TDs. His highlight was a 276-yard receiving game against Springside Chestnut Hill Academy, which broke a Philadelphia City record that had stood since 1969.


Christian Hackenberg, QB, Fork Union Military (VA)
One of the top quarterbacks in the country, Hackenberg provided quick validation for new Penn State coach Bill O’Brien when he committed to the Lions over Alabama, Florida, Miami, Tennessee and others in February. A classic drop-back passer who stands 6-4 and weighs 215, Hackenberg has great touch, great pocket awareness and a great football IQ. A great pick-up.


Zayd IssahATH, Central Dauphin
Issah has been an outstanding running back for CD, rushing for 2,998 yards and 44 touchdowns as a junior and sophomore combined, while adding 46 catches for 824 yards and 11 scores. He may wind up at linebacker for the Nittany Lions, however. He had 123 tackles and 14 sacks as a junior. 


Dorian Johnson, OT, Belle Vernon
Johnson was one of the most highly-coveted recruits in the East and committed to Penn State over Pitt, West Virginia, Ohio State, Alabama, Georgia, Notre Dame and South Carolina, among others. The 6-6, 285-pound Johnson is raw but is widely considered to have the highest ceiling of perhaps any player in the state of Pennsylvania in the class of 2013.


Brendan Mahon, OL, Randolph (NJ)
A 6-5, 300-pound tackle prospect, Mahon was one of the major recruits in Penn State’s spring haul. He had over a dozen offers, including UCLA, Michigan, Miami, WVU and others.


Andrew Nelson, OL, Hershey
Nelson is one of the top linemen in Pennsylvania and had offers from all three PA programs, as well as Maryland, Missouri and Northwestern. At 6-5, 265, Nelson will likely redshirt as a freshman and begin his college career on the inside of the line.


Neiko Robinson, DB, Northview (FL)
A 5-11, 170-pound safety, Robinson played in Alabama as a junior and recorded four interceptions and 94 tackles.


Garrett Sickels, DE, Red Bank Regional (NJ)
Sickels is one of the top D-ends on the east coast and had offers including Oklahoma, Ohio State, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Georgia, Florida and others. At 6-4, 240, he is a great pass rusher who is also a candidate to play outside linebacker.


Greg Webb, DT, Timbler Creek (NJ)
Webb is rated as one of the top defensive linemen in the nation, boasting offers from Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Florida State, Oklahoma, Ohio State, Wisconsin and seemingly just about everybody else. Said to have a great motor, excellent explosiveness and room to add more bulk to his 6-2, 290-pound frame.

I was in a minor league press box in Charlotte, NC, last month, taking in one of Gregory Polanco’s final triple-A games. A colleague, upon learning I was from Pittsburgh, approached me with a question.
Editor's DeskFeature One
Quick. Fill in the blank: The Steelers’ current receiving corps is (fill in the blank). Deep? Bottom-heavy? Talented yet unproven?
Feature TwoPenn StatePure Steel
Steve Blass was signed by the Pirates as an amateur free agent in 1960 and made his major league debut in 1964. From 1968 through 1972, Blass was one of the National League’s best pitchers.
Feature ThreeNorth Shore Notes
It’s an odd thought for Sterling Jenkins. It’s still a year away, but after he finishes his senior year at Baldwin High School, he’ll be playing college football at Penn State.
Feature FourHigh SchoolPenn State
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