Penn State Football: Predicting Next 5 Recruits to Commit to Nittany Lions

Barry LeonardAnalyst IIIDecember 27, 2012

Penn State Football: Predicting Next 5 Recruits to Commit to Nittany Lions

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    Despite the restrictions put on recruiting at Penn State, head coach Bill O'Brien has done an excellent job of landing top recruits. The 2013 class is ranked as the 24th best in the country according to ESPN Recruiting Nation.

    According to Nittany Nation's Josh Moyer, the Nittany Lions have only two scholarships remaining for the 2013 class.

    After those spots are filled, O'Brien and his stiff will turn their attention to the class of 2014 and the future of Penn State football. Running back Mark Allen from Maryland has already given the Nittany Lions a verbal commitment to join the class of '14.

    Due to the fact that scholarship numbers are going to be reduced, it's going to be important that the coaching staff does its homework and doesn't make mistakes in recruiting.

    This slideshow looks at the two recruits who could round out the 2013 class and three guys who could begin to shape the 2014 Penn State recruiting class.

DB: Deondre Singleton

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    Deondre Singleton from Lawrenceville, GA is a defensive back who could add needed depth to the Nittany Lions' defensive secondary for years to come. The six-foot high school senior is a 2-star recruit according to Rivals.com.

    During his junior year in high school, Singleton made 30 total tackles with seven interceptions and 10 passes defended.

    Singleton made his official visit to Happy Valley and is still thinking his decision over. The Nittany Lions represent the best offer to him as far as tradition and notoriety goes. Schools such as Delaware, Air Force and Elon have also made offers to the defensive back.

    However, according to 247sports.com, Singleton has recently received interest from Wisconsin and could soon receive an offer from the Badgers.

    As it stands now, it looks as if he will be one of the final commitments of Penn State's 2013 recruiting class.

RB: Wesley Bullock

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    Running back Wesley Bullock from Tampa Florida received an offer from Penn State in September and is still in the process of making his decision. Penn State could be a front-runner as his other offers are from non-BCS schools such as Toledo, Ball State and Bowling Green.

    During his junior year in 2011, Bullock carried the ball 179 times for 1,308 yards and 12 touchdowns. He also added 403 receiving yards and four touchdowns. In his senior season at Plant High School, he rushed for 1,134 yards with nine touchdowns and caught 27 passes for 344 yards and three touchdowns.

    Rivals.com lists the 5'7" back as a 2-star recruit.

    Bullock would make sense for the Nittany Lions by adding depth at running back. He would likely be given a redshirt in 2013, but could see the field in years to come.

ATH: DeAndre Thompkins

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    DeAndre Thompkins is a class of 2014 defensive back from North Carolina who also saw ample time on the offensive side of the ball. During his sophomore season in high school he rushed for 1,027 yards and added 401 receiving.

    Penn State is battling with other schools on Thompkins' list such as N.C. State, North Carolina, Clemson and Florida.

    It's still unclear exactly where he would fit at Penn State, although one would tend to think he would be recruited to fill a spot in the secondary.

    He was named to the AP's North Carolina All-State team as a kick returner.

    The Nittany Lions struggled to find a consistent kick returner in 2012 and Thompkins could certainly help out in that department.

DT: Ricky Walker

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    2014 recruit Ricky Walker from Hampton, Virginia just finished a monster junior season that saw him record 70 tackles and 10 sacks.

    Rivals.com currently has him rated as a 4-star recruit.  Weighing 270 pounds, the defensive tackle already possesses the size to make him a force at the next level.

    Penn State heads into 2013 featuring a young and talented defensive line that includes Big Ten Freshman of the Year Deion Barnes and Anthony Zettel. Walker could come in for the 2014 season and add his talents to that line.

    According to Rivals, Penn State is battling with Virginia Tech, Maryland, Virginia and Boston College.  However, Penn State has already made an official offer and had assistant coach Charles London pay the high school junior a visit.

RB: J.T.Blyden

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    J.T. Blyden is a running back from Pennsylvania who transferred to Camden Catholic in New Jersey for his junior season. He currently has Penn State near the top of his list.

    247sports.com  has him ranked as a 4-star recruit.

    The 5-10, 190 pound back rushed for 1,127 and 10 touchdowns during sophomore season in 2011.

    To date, Blyden has only received two official offers from UMass and Rutgers. One has to think that Penn State won't be far behind in making an offer to the talented class of 2014 recruit.

    Running back is a position that the Nittany Lions will need to fill for the future. Current starting backs Zach Zwinak and Bill Belton each only have two years of eligibility remaining.