Penn State Football Recruiting: Nation's Top Tight End Chooses Nittany Lions

Kevin McGuire@KevinOnCFBAnalyst IIMarch 9, 2012

Adam Breneman, the nation's top tight end in the class of 2013, has chosen to stay close to home for his college football. On Friday evening Breneman announced before friends, family and more that he will play college football at Penn State, as many had suspected for a while.

Breneman caught 72 passes for 1,120 yards and 12 touchdowns last season, improving on a breakout 2010 season of 863 yards on 59 receptions and eight touchdowns. It almost seemed natural that Breneman, who grew up a Penn State fan, would choose the school as long as the offer was there.

Despite a coaching change within the program that has been scarred by an off-field scandal, Breneman rarely wavered from his intentions.

Breneman is one of the best high school prospects to commit to Penn State since 2006, when A.J. Wallace was the last 5-star prospect to commit. Breneman is the 22nd overall player in the Rivals 100, the 22nd player in the Scout 300 and 29th overall player in the Top 247 from 247 Sports.

Breneman will quickly become a significant player in Penn State's offensive plans under Bill O'Brien. O'Brien has a history for taking advantage of the tight end in his offenses, most recently witnessed at the NFL level with the New England Patriots.

Breneman is the kind of player who will have fans excited for a rejuvenation at the position that has produced a few NFL players over the years, including Andrew Quarless of the Green Bay Packers and former NFL player Kyle Brady.

In 2013, Penn State is projected to have seven tight ends on scholarship, including Breneman. Kevin Haplea and Gary Gilliam would be in their final year of eligibility (Gilliam would be a redshirt senior), so Breneman would probably have some time to make some adjustments before making a push for some playing time.

The most realistic expectation is that he would make a push for playing time as early as 2014, and certainly being considered a favorite for a starting job in 2015.

But Breneman is ready to go now, and that is great news for Penn State.

Now that Penn State has Breneman lined up, the key will be to ensure he follows through with his verbal commitment next February when National Signing Day rolls around. Penn State currently has four players, all considered 4-star prospects, that have offered a verbal commitment.

The foundation for a solidly impressive class are there with key positions. How Penn State builds off of this momentum is what will be watched moving forward on the recruiting trails.

Rest assured, O'Brien and his staff are proving that recruiting kids to come to Penn State is no longer the concern it was in recent months.

Kevin McGuire is a featured columnist for Bleacher Report and the managing editor of Nittany Lions Den. Follow him on Twitter, like him on Facebook and add him to your Google+ circle.