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Tuesday September 23 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 spent three days late last month visiting 18 high schools across the WPIAL. I drove 533 miles, took hundreds of photographs, shook hands with dozens of coaches, athletic directors and principals and climbed way too many stadium steps. I loved every minute of it, of course.
Editor's DeskFeature OneHigh School
Maryland-bound Franklin Regional senior Brett Zanotto rushed for 157 yards and a touchdown to lead the Panthers to a 34-20 win over visiting Indiana on Friday night.
Feature TwoHSCOGOS2014
Visiting Hollidaysburg blanked Belle Vernon 7-0 in an overtime thriller at James Weir Stadium on Friday night.
Feature ThreeHSUSS2014
The Steelers traditional powerhouse defense has set a yearly standard for fans and pundits for decades. But an aging Pittsburgh defense has had a rocky time the last couple of seasons.
Feature FourPure Steel
PSR VIDEO
Full size video and summary... Misc YouTube Player 1 Xfinity HS FootballHigh School TV Channel
Full size video and summary... Misc YouTube Player 2Pirates TV Channel
Full size video and summary... Misc YouTube Player 3USS HS GOTWHigh School TV Channel
Twenty-two WPIAL football teams will have new coaches pacing the sidelines this season, including a few that will be featured in the CoGo's Feature Matchup this season.
Custom 1HSCOGOS2014
Several of the most coveted recruits throughout the WPIAL have already made their college decisions, most notably Sterling Jenkins of Baldwin. Others, like Central Valley's Jordan Whitehead, are still being recruited.
Custom 2High SchoolKeystone Recruiting
Bill Cherpak misses the way it used to be. Back in the 80’s, when the current Thomas Jefferson High School coach was a player at Steel Valley, the recruiting process wasn’t publicized. It was low-key compared to the present.
Custom 3High School
The Mon-Valley has put plenty of athletes on Division 1 football teams over the years, including several who made it to the NFL. There are a few Mon-Valley natives playing D-1 ball this season.
Custom 4HSUSS2014