Penn State fans woke up to a nice little piece of news Thursday morning, as New Jersey linebacker Brandon Bell has given Penn State a verbal commitment.
Lions247 (247Sports.com's Penn State affiliate) was the first to report the news. All three major recruiting services rate Bell as a three-star prospect.
Bell is projected to be an inside linebacker when he arrives at Penn State, and he is the first LB to be added to the Class of 2013 for the Nittany Lions. The Mays Landing native recorded 117 tackles, including 22 for a loss and six sacks, as well as forcing three fumbles as a junior. Last season, Bell also played running back for Oakcrest High School, rushing for 429 yards and five touchdowns.
With the successful recruitment of Bell, Penn State's first full recruiting class under Bill O'Brien is shaping up very nicely. According to Rivals.com's star ratings, each of the 11 players currently on board for Penn State have at least three stars.
Last year's recruiting class had 13 players with three or more stars. His recruitment is also key for depth purposes. Penn State recruited just one linebacker in the Class of 2012 (Nyeem Wartman), leaving plenty of space to fill in a couple of years at the signature position for Penn State.
What's next for Penn State? Many will be keeping a close eye on the recruiting of Pennsylvania linebacker Alex Anzalone, who PennLive.com is reporting has set a return trip to Penn State for June 28th.
Anzalone had de-committed from Ohio State and has not ruled out returning to the Buckeyes' Class of 2013 when all is said and done. Other schools he will be visiting include Notre Dame (second trip scheduled for Thursday) and Florida. USC is also listed in his final six schools.
If Penn State can manage to keep Anzalone in state, then Penn State's Class of 2013 will start to be mentioned among some of the top classes the school has seen, at least in recent years.
Kevin McGuire is the host of the No 2-Minute Warning podcast, managing editor of Nittany Lions Den and a member of the Football Writers Association of America and National Football Foundation. Follow him on Twitter, like him on Facebook and add him to your Google+ circle.