Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Penn State's Class of 2006

By Position: QB-2 RB-2 WR- 2 TE- 1 OL- 4 DE- 5 DT- 4 LB- 2 DB- 2
By State: Delaware- 1 Maryland- 7 New Jersey- 5 New York- 3 Pennsylvania- 6 Virginia- 2

Brett Brackett (Lawrenceville, NJ)- Brackett was Penn State's first commitment for the Class of 2006. Originally it looked as though he would be the only QB recruit until Pat Devlin jumped on board. However, Brackett is big and athletic will get an opportunity to play. He is surprisingly mobile for such a big guy. I would expect him to redshirt in 2006 unless injuries create the need for some depth.

Pat Devlin (Exton, PA)- Devlin looks like Penn State's quarterback of the future. He had an outstanding senior season and should be ready to contribute at Penn State in 2007. However, after the debacle that was Anthony Morelli's first two seasons at Penn State, I would expect Devlin to redshirt in 2006 barring an injury to Anthony Morelli.

Running Back:
Brent Carter (Pottstown, PA)- Carter originally committed to Virginia before changing his mind during the final days of recruiting. Carter provides some more stability at tailback. With Tony Hunt and Austin Scott departing following the 2006 season, it was a position of need. Carter is a good size (6-3, 205) tailback and could get some playing time this season so he is seasoned heading into 2007. Or he may redshirt. The situation is unclear at this point.

Travis McBride (McKeesport, PA)- McBride is Penn State's lone signee from the WPIAL in this class. McBride is more of a developmental prospect, like Jeffries, as his future appears to be as a defensive back. He played on the defensive side of the ball in high school in addition to playing tailback. Expect him to redshirt in 2006 as the coaching staff decides what position is best for him.

Evan Royster (Chantilly, VA)- Royster is another tailback who will provide stability at tailback going into 2006 where Rodney Kinlaw will be the most experienced returnee. Royster is smaller than Carter but has better speed and could be a good change of pace back and/or kick returner. Like Carter, he could be an immediate contributor or redshirt in 2006. With two seniors and a junior on the three-deep, I would tend to think it will be the latter.

Wide Receiver:
Chris Bell (Norfolk, VA)- Amidst the recent number of blue chip prospects to announce for Penn State, Bell has been lost in the shuffle. However, Bell may be the earliest contributor from this class, at least on the offensive side of the ball. He has the size and speed to be a dominating receiver at the collegiate level. There is no doubt that he will play, if not start, from day one. Bell could start if Deon Butler's move to cornerback in the spring is permanent. If Butler stays on offense, Bell will be on the most used wideouts in PSU's receiver rotation.

Cedric Jeffries (Egg Harbor, NJ)- Jeffries, one of the less heralded players in the class, came aboard in late December when he decommitted from Virginia. Jeffries future at Penn State is likely as a defensive back. Because of that, and Penn State's lack of experience at every secondary position, I doubt he will redshirt.

Tight End:
Andrew Quarless (Uniondale, NY)- Quarless will add yet another explosive offensive weapon to Penn State's already well stocked arsenal. Quarless is also fast enough that he can line up in the slot as well. He is a dynamic player who should contribute right away with Isaac Smolko departed.Quarless should develop into one of Anthony Morelli's favorite targets.

Offensive Line:
Lou Eliades (Ocean, NJ)- Eliades is one of three blue chip linemen that the Nittany Lions added in this class. And much like the other two (Logan-El and Walton), Eliades will have an opporunity to play right away. With four open starting spots on the offensive line, they all may have an opportunity to contribute early on. I expect Eliades to contribute early on at either guard or tackle.

Doug Klopacz (Montvale, NJ)- Klopacz, the only two-star prospect landed by Penn State according to, is a project. He played tight end for his first three years of high school before seeing some time as lineman this past season. Klopacz is similar to some of the offensive linemen that Iowa has landed over the years- high school tight ends who grow into a lineman. It is almost certain that Klopacz will redshirt in 2006. He needs to put on some more weight and develop his technique before seeing the playing field.

Antonio Logan-El (Forestville, MD)- Logan-El is perhaps the most heralded of the offensive linemen coming in. After verballing to Maryland early on the process, Logan-El recently switched to Penn State in what some considered an "out of line" announcement. Some have said that Logan-El needs to work on his technique but with a talent like his and the lack of experience on the offensive lineman, Logan-El may need to learn on the job. Unless Paterno and the coaching staff is completely dissatisfied with his play in fall practice, expect to see him on the field in 2006.

J.B. Walton (Indian Head, MD)- Walton may be the most polished of the incoming offensive linemen and may have the best shot to start right away. Walton looks like a future guard who should manage to crack the three deep going into 2006. Of all three highly touted offensive linemen, Walton will almost assuredly see the field in 2006.

Defensive End:
Maurice Evans (Middle Village, NY)- Evans is going to be a dominating defensive end at Penn State. With the departures of Tamba Hali and Matthew Rice, Evans wil have an opporunity to contribute right away. Tom Bradley likes to use a rotation of defensive ends, something that was slightly hampered in 2005 when Lavon Chisley was ruled academically ineligibile. Now with Evans and the other standout defensive ends, Bradley should have no problem finding enough players to fit his system. Evans will play and play often in 2006. He dominated in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl against some of the best recruits in the nation.

Eric Latimore (Middletown, DE)- Latimore, one of the lesser known defensive end signees, is a little bit of a sleeper. Before announcing Penn State, Latimore had received quite a bit of interest from Miami that helped to get his name out a bit more. With three more highly ranked defensive ends ahead of him, Latimore could play right away, depending on if Aaron Maybin is able to bulk up enough to play defensive end or not. If Maybinis ready, Latimore might redshirt.

Aaron Maybin (Ellicot City, MD)- Maybin has the potential to be a tremendous defensive end. If he is able to hold onto his 4.6 speed as he bulks up to play defensive end, he could become an outstanding pass rusher. However, with the number of ends signed in this class, Maybin's future may be as a hybrid DE/LB who can stand up and play on the outside or drop down as a pass rusher. Gaining the bulk to play defensive end or linebacker will determine his playing time in 2006. If he is able to add the weight and not lose his speed, Maybin should see some playing time. If not, he will redshirt. With five defensive ends in this class, PSU will not rush Maybin's development.

Jared Odrick (Lebanon, PA)- Odrick, along with Evans, have the best chance to play right away. Odrick has reportedly dropped down to 286, making it easier for him to play on the end. While some suggest Odrick should move to tackle, Odrick could develop into a powerful, running stopping end. In the running heavy Big Ten, that can only be an advantage. Look for Odrick to see the field right away, possibly first coming in as a run stopping specialist.

Johnnie Troutman (Browns Mills, NJ)- Troutman became Penn State's final addition at defensive end in this class. However, his future has been rumored to be as an offensive lineman. At 6-4 289, he already has the size, now he will just need to work on his technique and with the plethora of offensive linemen in this class, he won't be rushed along. If he is switched to offense he will almost definitely redshirt. If he stays on defense, all bets are off.

Defensive Tackle:
Alim "Abe" Koroma (Hershey, PA)- Koroma is one of the biggest sleepers in this class. Playing at the Milton Hershey School, he didn't play against the best competition the Keystone State has to offer but he dominated every team he faced, often being double-teamed the entire game. Koroma could play right away or he could redshirt. It will likely be determined by how well Phillip Taylor and Tom McEowen perform in fall practice.

Tom McEowen (Feasterville, PA)- McEowen was the first blue chip prospect to verbal to Penn State way back in July. McEowen is similar in size to Scott Paxson and should play in 2006 and possibly start in 2007 as Ed Johnson and Jay Alford both depart. McEowen has the potential to develop into a solid all around tackle that Paxson was for Penn State. As mentioned, McEowen should see the field in 2006 and should be in Tom Bradley's rotation at tackle.

Ollie Ogbu (Milford, NY)- Ogbu, like Koroma, is a sleeper/mystery man in this class. No one knows much about him but Ogbu clearly has the size to become a dominating interior lineman. At well over 300 pounds, Ogbu should have no problem closing up gaps on the defensive line and could fit in well if Tom Bradley installs the 3-4 defense, as has been rumored. Much like Koroma, Ogbu's playing time will depend on the playing time/progress made by McEowen and Taylor.

Phillip Taylor (Clinton, MD)- Taylor is the biggest and most dominating defensive tackle in this class. He also has the best chance among the tackle prospects to play right away. Like Ogbu, Taylor will fit well into Tom Bradley's proposed 3-4. Taylor is nearly 350 but still has 5.1 speed, the same as Ogbu and McEowen. I would imagine that Taylor will play right away in 2006 as depth at tackle was a concern in 2005 and with Scott Paxson departed, it leaves the chance wide open for Taylor.

Navorro Bowman (Forestville, MD)- Bowman is Penn State's only early enrollee in this class. He is now taking classes at Penn State. Bowman will have an advantage of participating in both spring practice and fall practice. However, with all three starting linebackers returning and Jerome Hayes ready to contribute, Bowman may be redshirted, like Hayes, to save a year of eligibility. However, if he really impresses the coaching staff in spring practice, he could see the field in 2006.

Bani Gbadyu (Gaithersburg, MD)- Gbadyu originally committed to LSU in September before announcing for Penn State in December. Despite playing linebacker in high school, Gbadyu's future at Penn State appears to be as a safety. Gbadyu has the size and speed to play safety right away and with the lack of experience and depth there, Gbadyu could see the field right away. Donnie Johnson appears to have one spot locked down. Gbadyu could be a favorite to win it in pre-season practice.

Defensive Back:
A.J. Wallace (Pomfret, MD)- Wallace is unquestionably the top prospect, the crown jewel of Penn State's class. Wallace has the potential to be a gamebreaking receiver or a shutdown corner. But like Justin King last season, Wallace will play on both sides of the ball as a freshman. Picturing Derrick Williams, Chris Bell, Jordan Norwood and A.J. Wallace lined up as wideouts is just sick. How can any defense have enough weapons to stop this? Wallace is a Derrick Williams clone and just like D-Will, he will play from day one.


Anonymous Anonymous said...


Monday, July 03, 2006  
Anonymous THECLAW said...


Monday, August 28, 2006  
Blogger Big East said...

I saw A.J. play last year in a MD state playoff game aginst my brothers team. He had two unbelievable TD runs which left me and my friends calling him the next "Reggie Bush"!!

Saturday, September 09, 2006  

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