Bill O'Brien received the commitment of Sicklerville, New Jersey's Greg Webb. The Nittany Lions class of 2013 now has received its sixth 4-star recruit (all of which are in the Rivals 250) out of seven commits.
The defensive tackle had an unsuccessful visit on campus in the fall when he was ignored by the former coaching staff. Despite the scandal surrounding the program, Webb said in December he would still consider Penn State, as long as D-line coach Larry Johnson was retained.
"Coach Johnson is a great guy and I felt comfortable with him begin my coach and mentor for the next four to five years," Webb told BlueWhite Illustrated (subscription required). "We have a healthy relationship."
Webb also had plenty of good things to say about Penn State's first new head coach since 1966.
"Coach O'Brien is a very good coach," Webb said. "I feel he will impact the program in a good way."
Committing early was not what Webb had planned. Even a month ago, Webb had planned on making his decision after the season. But he ended up choosing Penn State because he felt it was the right fit for him.
Webb is listed at 6'2" and 290 pounds. One criticism of the sixth-ranked defensive tackle and No. 78 player overall by Rivals is that he is undersized for a defensive tackle. His high school coach, Rob Hinson, told BWI's Phil Grosz that Webb is the most explosive player he has ever coached.
"He's goes about 6-1 1/2, 295 now, but he'll play at the college level between 300 and 305," Hinson said. "Greg has a low center of gravity. He explodes off the ball. He has big thick legs and a big butt. Greg has all the physical tools you look for in a D-1 defensive tackle."
Hinson also said that Webb's background in wrestling will help him come off of blocks.
The Philadelphia Inquirer had him as a first team all-South Jersey in 2010 and 2011, ESPN ranks Webb as a preseason All-American, and the G&W Recruiting Report ranks Webb as the No. 1 DT prospect in the Northeast for the class of 2013.
Last season, Webb had 80 tackles, 18 tackles for a loss, and 10 sacks during the regular season. Including the New Jersey state playoffs, Webb totaled 94 tackles, 26 tackles for a loss, and 13 sacks.
When O'Brien was hired, the question that circulated Happy Valley was, "Who is this guy?" The second question was, "Could he recruit?" The Lions now have a virtual lock on a top 25 recruiting class and are on pace to having a top 10 recruiting class.
After picking up the commitment of quarterback Christian Hackenberg and tight end Adam Breneman, the Nittany Lions picked up several other recruits inside the Rivals 250, making Penn State one of the hottest programs on the recruiting trail.