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Two four-star verbals pull Penn State closer to Bama in recruiting rankings

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Don’t look now, Alabama, but a former SEC coach has his new football program nipping at your heels on the 2015 recruiting trail.

Friday evening in separate “events,” four-star recruits Sterling Jenkins and Brandon Wimbush announced that each has verbally committed to play their college football at Penn State. Both have been considered Nittany Lion leans, particularly Jenkins, who has taken four different trips to Happy Valley the past three months.

James Franklin and his coaching staff, in their first year with the Nittany Lions, have pushed hard for both players of late.

The 6-9 (!), 308-pound (!!!) Jenkins is rated as the No. 6 offensive tackle in the country and the No. 1 player at any position in the state of Pennsylvania. Wimbush, who plays his high school football in New Jersey, is rated as the No. 6 dual-threat quarterback in next year’s class.

Ohio State and Miami of Florida were the other finalists for Wimbush, with the Buckeyes serving as the Nittany Lions’ stiffest competition.   Virginia Tech and Boston College were also in Wimbush’s Top Five.  Franklin’s gain came at the expense of his counterpart at OSU, Urban Meyer, as well as Jenkins picked the Nittany Lions over the runnerup Buckeyes.

If Jenkins’ commitment holds through National Signing Day next February, it will mark the first time since at least 2006 the top-rated player in the state of Pennsylvania signed with the Nittany Lions.

The coaching staff in general and the offensive line coach specifically helped seal the deal for the Nittany Lions when it came to Jenkins.

“I really admire [OL] coach [Herb] Hand, everything he has told me and seeing how he coaches,” Jenkins said according to Rivals.com. “It feels like the right place for me to grow. I had already met Coach Hand when he was at Vanderbilt. We got along even then, and I knew when he came to Penn State it wouldn’t be a sales pitch. He is the same guy he was there, a guy I can trust.

“I’m not the first person in my family to go there so that’s a pretty cool thing. It was really surprising to see how the visits there are different. Coach [James] Franklin and all the coaching staff were all there to introduce themselves to me and talk to me. They all took time to come and see me while I was there. The finer details of what they do up there really showed me how much they care about me.”

Coming into Thursday night, No. 1 Alabama had a sizable lead (2,213-1,385) on No. 2 Penn State in Rivals.com‘s 2015 team recruiting rankings.  With the twin commitments, both the Tide and Nittany Lions have 15 verbals for next year’s class.  Two of the Tide commits are five-stars while 11 are four-star; PSU has zero five-stars (yet) and 10 four-stars already committed.

The Tide’s lead in the Rivals’ rankings was sliced to 2213-1688.  Auburn, incidentally, is No. 3 with 1,242 points.

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31 Responses to “Two four-star verbals pull Penn State closer to Bama in recruiting rankings”
  1. Deb says: May 6, 2014 8:40 PM

    We’re talking about 2015 verbal commitments?

    Sheesh, will Thursday ever get here?

    I hate Goodell.

  2. spreadthecheese says: May 6, 2014 9:15 PM

    Charlie Weis had a #1 recruiting class at Notre Dame at one point, too. Talking a good game only gets you so far.

  3. steeler1nation says: May 6, 2014 9:19 PM

    These kids must not be too smart, and must not be surrounded by a strong family home. Hence their terrible decision making skills.
    Anybody with an IQ over 50 would know it wise to avoid Creepy Valley as much as possible. Two more years of a bowl ban. The worst rush defense in PSU history. No depth. An overinflated sense of value for a coach who has NEVER won a big game.
    And, of course, the permanent taint of the THE worst scandal and cover-up in sports history surrounding the program forever. When somebody hears the words Penn State football…the first thing they think of is child rape. Why would you want to go to a place with THAT kind of legacy?
    James Franklin is a snake oil salesman, and a real dirtball.
    PSU will be lucky to go 6-6, 7-5 the next 3 years.

  4. chicksdigthelongballs says: May 6, 2014 9:25 PM

    These kids needs today need affection and shown that coaches “really care” about them?

    Wtf, man has this country gone soft. Guarantee Jenkins turns out to be a big soft cream puff.

  5. blitzman67 says: May 6, 2014 10:01 PM

    I can’t believe these kids consider a school known for child rape either.

  6. 1harrypairatesties says: May 6, 2014 10:40 PM

    What’s wrong with these kids? Every time my buddy says he graduated from Penn State the first thing people come back at him with is questions about what he thinks of the whole Jerry Sandusky thing. This school will forever be linked to the rapes of those kids. Why anyone would want to attend school there or even tell others they graduated there is beyond me. There are so many better schools in this country but these kids choose Jerry Sandusky State University.

  7. haywoodjeffries says: May 6, 2014 11:15 PM

    Great news!

    Commenters can get bent. Likely hypocritical Catholics who defend their religion when priests have been doing this to kids forever. Sure that’s covered up but let’s just attack a school that you presumably hated prior to the scandal. Keep hating! #WeAre

  8. eagles512 says: May 6, 2014 11:16 PM

    Good for Franklin and good for Penn St. Too many people not involved in the scandal have already been punished too much.

  9. 1harrypairatesties says: May 6, 2014 11:52 PM

    Maybe haywoodjefferies & eagles512 like to touch the children too, huh?

  10. iownyou2 says: May 7, 2014 6:29 AM

    Steeler1nation- that’s what people have been saying for 2 years now. Time to move on and realize this program is coming back better than it was before. But don’t worry you can watch Pitt fall further into irrelevancy playing in front of 10,000 screaming parents at a stadium that isn’t theirs.

  11. ellieat says: May 7, 2014 7:46 AM

    First of all, before I say anything I am an Alabama fan and not a penn state fan. I moved to pa when I was a teenager and avoided their fan base until I heard about the Sandusky scandal.

    Which by the way was one man. And not an entire football program. I don’t remember any reports of players raping children. Which is weird cause the teachers didn’t either. And according to police it was SANDUSKY. this school as a school is FANTASTIC and these kids are lucky to go there.

    These kids spend weeks raising money for cancer. Football players, swimmers, regular students and faculty have raised around 12 million dollars for kids with cancer. But you’re right this entire school is just about child rape and you should all feed off of their tragedy and let that fuel your fire. Considering it’s over and they’re already being punished.

    Your ignorant and uneducated comments are OUTSTANDING. If you would turn away a fantastic education and a good place to play football because of a scandal that didn’t actually involve football players then you’re as much of an asshole as Sandusky.

    They are penn state and whether you stand behind them or not they will come back and franklin is gonna make it happen and you’d be a fool to think just because someone didn’t thrive at Vanderbilt in the sec that he wouldn’t thrive at a big ten school.

  12. 65impala says: May 7, 2014 8:03 AM

    Sreelernation is a Buckeye fan, thats why all the negative feed back, he comments more on PSU articles than any other. Never met a buckeye fan that was worth listening too. But give him a break he’s scared of the new power house of the Big Ten, and must lash out at someone. Were did Urban Meyer live prior to taking the Ohio State job? Thats right State College Pa. A GREAT place to live and go to school!!

  13. psulion4life says: May 7, 2014 8:38 AM

    These comments are laughable. Such jealousy and rage against Penn State because they are kicking everybody’s ass recruiting.

    I never took an IQ test by I am studying rocket science at Penn State. It’s such a terrible program at such a terrible school that only organizations like NASA recruit out of here. If NASA is the best I can do, I might as well drop out and start flipping burgers. I’m sure that’s what NASA will think of when they look at me face to face- “he’s either a child molester, or a child molester sympathizer. Either way though we’re only NASA and we can’t do any better than these perverts at Penn State.” Oh by the way- this pathetic excuse for a college is going to be the only university to ever go to the moon. Probably because they won’t let us into Cancun for Spring Break because we have such a terrible reputation.

    Steeler1nation thank you for the revelation. Ohhhh… And sorry about steeling all your recruits. Actually maybe that’s a bad way of putting it- after all, none of them ever committed to Ohio State. I believe 9 of our current commitments had offers for Ohio State before they committed here. Those idiots. Who wouldn’t want to live in Columbus? I went there for the game last year (we got wrecked) but everything there was drawing me in! The absence of color and grey hues everywhere you look, the fact that the fun police tried to bust my tailgate in the stadium parking lot because they have such a strict open container law really makes me feel safe. Not like Penn State where child rapists run through the streets of Happy Valley like ants on an ant hill.

    But I’m glad you guys are enjoying LJ. He is really working out for you guys! I believe the plan was the entire time that every contact and relationship had he was going to bring to Ohio State. Good for him and for you guys- especially that Urban Meyer. He’s known as being such a standup guy! I just can’t believe that moron let his own daughter go to Penn State. What an idiot.

    Well I have to go. All 45,000 of us undergrad students are getting together and we’re going to go flip a few news vans- we’re training for the toughest school competition. After that we are going to hang out on street corners with coffee cans begging for money for kids with cancer and then maybe if there’s enough time today we will have a candlelight vigil for Jerry.

    I just have to clear this up- I know I’m FAR smarter than you and I’m not sure if you have the brainpower to realize I was sarcastic about Jerry. Give us the noose and we will gladly put an end to his life. Anyone out here that thinks an entire community, not to mention the largest living alumni network in the country, would rally behind a child molester deserves to get slapped. You guys are idiots.

  14. dhardy8207 says: May 7, 2014 9:01 AM

    A terrible thing happened. A monster is in jail for the rest of his life in order to be held accountable. To insinuate that an entire university, and entire community help cover up the events of the past is nothing but ignorance. This community and this school needs to be able to move on and leave behind the past. In order for that to happen a new staff has been hired to manage the football program and young men are excited to go there and play their college football.

    This community can’t move forward if everyone is still holding on to the past. In my opinion it takes great courage to pick up the peices from what has happened and restore PSU to a proud learning institution again. Thing is, society has to allow them the opportunity to do so….

  15. dhardy8207 says: May 7, 2014 9:04 AM

    “There will always be errors in judgement as long as man is in charge, for those that make the decisions are mere mortals and incapable of perfection.”

    Gandhi

  16. thraiderskin says: May 7, 2014 9:16 AM

    Good for PSU… Steeler1nation, stfu.

  17. bmoresteal says: May 7, 2014 9:46 AM

    It’s ok steeler1nation…when Penn State comes to Pitt in 2016 it will be Pitts only sell out of the year I’m sure. How did your spring game attendance turn out? Oh wait….you didn’t have a spring game because Pitt wouldn’t foot the bill at a high school….

    I can’t even begin to fathom your mindset on talking about a teenagers IQ and family life. You sir either need to get a life or get help. You make all Steeler fans look awful…please change your handle to something more fitting of your deranged mindset.

  18. ninjapleazee says: May 7, 2014 9:51 AM

    I attended PSU during the time of the Sandusky era, did I know anything was going on? No. So I love it when I read uneducated morons making assumptions and blaming entire university as a whole because the acts of one demon.

  19. dumbpollack says: May 7, 2014 10:12 AM

    I’m a Buckeye and Urb needs to get it freakin’ going already.

  20. bigbuckeye76 says: May 7, 2014 11:56 AM

    Students at your University rioted after a football coach, who watched a monster walk into his facilities FOR A DECADE, was fired…. They are sick and so is anyone else who defends Pedorno.

    As for this recruiting story, good for Franklin and this team that had nothing to do with what happened. Looking forward to finally seeing a decent product on the field in State College.

  21. 6superbowls says: May 7, 2014 11:57 AM

    September 16, 2000. Pitt 12 Penn State 0.

    Selfish, angry old man JoePa never wanted to return to play Pitt again. Dude ruined what could have, and should have, been a great rivalry.

  22. phillyphan215 says: May 7, 2014 12:13 PM

    Pitters are just bitter, as usual. As they have really been sliding into irrelevancy over the past couple decades, they were still able to decently recruit in Western PA. They are even losing that edge, which is pretty much the final nail in this coffin for this joke of a program.

    Of course, Pitt fans, like 6superbowls, love to bring up history when things aren’t going so well (his name says it all), so they bring up some game from 14 years ago. Whoop dee doo. I’ve gotten over that loss a long time ago.

    And while Pitt fans like to call out PSU fans for having a bad culture, let me just say this. Fans that celebrate and were happy about the Sandusky scandal because it makes a rival football program look bad really need to look themselves in the mirror when it comes to #culture.

    Also, while people in the Pittsburgh area like to crusade on their high horses, let me simply remind them that they were very supportive of Big Ben when he was in trouble for sexual assault.

  23. kastout11 says: May 7, 2014 12:18 PM

    I understand that Sandusky did an unspeakable thing and thankfully will never get out of prison, but I am tired of some moron bringing up Sandusky every time there is an article pertaining to Penn State. Franklin is doing an outstanding job of restoring the football program to the prominance we are accustomed to. Also, about the bowl ban, there has been discussions and rumors that the ban will be lifted. I still don’t think the program is as strong as it will be in 3 to 4 years. 15 verbal commits for 2015 already, Franklin is doing exactly what I thought he would, excel at recruiting.

  24. ruthpsu65 says: May 7, 2014 12:27 PM

    Not only is PSU winning the recruitment war. we have over 100,000 students and the largest Dues paying Alumni Association in the world.
    You are all losers WE ARE PENN STATE

  25. ruthpsu65 says: May 7, 2014 12:28 PM

    Not only is PSU winning the recruiting war. we have over 100,000 students and the largest Dues paying Alumni Association in the world.
    You are all losers WE ARE PENN STATE

  26. Deb says: May 7, 2014 12:35 PM

    @dhardy8207 …

    Re your excellent comments about Penn State and its team being allowed to move on:

    So glad we’re again in full agreement!! :)

  27. ruthpsu65 says: May 7, 2014 1:05 PM

    You Pitt fans have a selective memory. Paterno wanted to form an Eastern all sports league. With
    Pitt and Penn State anchoring the new league.
    Pitt turned it down because they didn’t want Penn State basketball in the league. PSU has always struggled with
    Basketball. Pitts demands effectively distroyed all chances of forming the new league. That is when PSU joined the big ten. Paterno never forgave Pitt for condemning eastern sports to mediocrity.

  28. psulion4life says: May 7, 2014 1:38 PM

    Another ignorant, arrogant Buckeye fan with a chip on his shoulder. This is where I’m going to verbally kick your ass.

    First of all, you clearly know nothing about the “scandal” judging by your ignorant remarks. Bigbuckeye76, “Students rioted after a football coach watched a monster walk into his facilities FOR A DECADE, was fired…. They are sick, and so is anyone who defends Pedorno.”

    I can’t count the amount of times I’ve had this same conversation of enlightenment with ignoramuses such as yourself, all due to the fact that you have a strong opinion about everything, and your stubbornness gets the best of you because you’ve seen a few headlines written by the same “posers” similar to yourself proclaiming “Penn State is a breeding ground for child molesters.” So I am going to attempt to break this down for you int he simplest, shortest way possible; however my attempts will probably be futile, again because you are a stubborn ignoramus.

    Sandusky was not part of the coaching staff when Mike McQueary supposedly saw him in the shower with a little boy. Again, SANDUSKY WAS NOT PART OF THE COACHING STAFF WHEN MIKE MCQUEARY SAW HIM SHOWERING WITH A LITTLE BOY. He retired two years prior. But let’s dissect this scenario a little bit…

    A 28 year old man in peak physical condition standing at 6’4, 215 lbs supposedly walks into a shower and sees a 60 year old frail monster raping a little boy. He didn’t interject. He didn’t say anything. He didn’t kick his ass with a baseball bat like anyone reading this would- let’s face it, we all would. He didn’t even call the cops. Instead he talked to Joe. Not immediately after he saw it, not that night, but the next day. Ok.

    So Joe hears all of this for the first time. He is told by McQueary what he “thinks he saw” and he had absolutely no evidence to back it up. So McQueary isn’t even sure of what he saw when he tells all of this to Joe. Worse yet, an entire day has passed since it happened. Joe- “did you stop him? Did you say anything to him? You didn’t call the police? And you aren’t sure of exactly what you saw?” So Joe calls his bosses and meets immediately with the AD, the VP who but he way is in charge of campus police investigations and the President of the university and tells them everything’s hat he was told. I’m going to remind you, Sandusky has been off the coaching staff for two years. He had no affiliation with the football program. Their was nothing to protect by keeping it secret. However, those are some incredibly strong allegations to not have any facts or evidence to back it up.

    Anyways, Joe sees to it that Sandusky is banned from all Penn State football facilities while a police investigation is conducted. Under the circumstances, what the hell else could he had possibly done? He’s a football coach. He’s not a cop. He’s not a politician. He’s not on the Board of Trustees. He’s…. Just a football coach.

    So time goes by and he is approached and asked questions from people in the legal system whose job it is to handle it- so he knows an investigation is conducted. Again, he had no evidence that it actually happened. McQueary wasn’t even positive about what he saw. And again, Sandusky was not part of the football program so there was nothing to hide. THERE WAS NO CONSPIRACY. There was no “scandal.” The entire university wasn’t in cahoots to protect this monster. The only thing that there was, however was a complete and utter failure by those conducting the investigation- albeit, the legal system and the powers in charge of the university whose job it might have been to supervise the investigation. Paterno didn’t “let him walk into the facilities for a decade” after that day. Hell, it wasn’t even a decade from the time it happened to the time that Joe died.

    Also, it’s important to note that Sandusky was acquitted of those charges. McQueary changed his story three times about what actually happened- he had three legal statements that all contradicted each other. So who know what actually happened that day? I will say, I wouldn’t be surprised in the least if that monster was rapid a boy. He is among the worst evil to walk the face of this planet. NO ONE IS DEFENDING ANYONE THAT HAD ANY WRONG DOING IN THIS INVESTIGATION. Life in prison is too good for Jerry and if it were up to us, we’d hang him in the street of Beaver Canyon.

    Your riot comment is amusing because you really have no idea what you’re talking about. We “rioted” in 2008 when we beat Ohio State at home. We “rioted” on May 1st 2011 with American flags chanting “USA” and singing Lee Greenwood’s “Proud to be an American” after word reached us that SEAL Team 6 shot Osama Bin Laden. We have 45,000 undergraduate students and tens of thousands more graduate students, most living within one square mile of each other. When something big happens, where else is everyone going to go?

    That fateful night in November of 2011 earned a reputation for Penn State that is not easily forgotten. The only thing that you know is a news van was flipped over. Eleven students were charged for that, both by the university and the legal system. And the interesting thing that came out from each of their stories, is a CNN correspondent egged them on to do it, “we’ll get a great shot of it.” Eleven students out of tens of thousands did one act of vandalism, and they clearly paid for their mistakes. And you have the audacity to stereotype the largest university in the country, both by the actions of one man and but the actions of a few student protestors?

    Don’t you dare put that label on me. Your football program displayed the definition unethical just a few years ago when your players accepted bribes. Do we hold the entire fan base accountable? Hell no. The “Cleveland Strangler” killed and raped at least eleven innocent people in Ohio. Neighborhoodscout.com gives Columbus a crime index of 7, with 100 being the safest. Does that mean we will label you as a rapist or rapist sympathizer? No, we’re smarter than that. It’s unfortunate that you however aren’t.

  29. dhardy8207 says: May 7, 2014 4:15 PM

    @ Deb,

    We’ve had a history of agreeing and disagreeing. What matters is that we can always get back to a friendly place and enjoy reading each other’s post even if we choose to disagree…… :-)

  30. dhardy8207 says: May 7, 2014 4:17 PM

    @psulion4life;

    Very Well Stated…………..NOW
    take a deep breath and pour some water on that keyboard because it has to be on fire by now… :-)

  31. Deb says: May 8, 2014 5:26 PM

    @dhardy8207 …

    True! :)

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