It is no secret that Penn State's secondary has had some problems, and they were under a big microscope in the Rose Bowl against USC. The cornerback position needed a big haul with the departure of seniors Tony Davis and Lydell Sargeant.
The big name at the position coming in will be Darrell Givens (No. 4 above). At 6'1" Givens is the tallest cornerback coming in and that size will come in handy against some of the top receivers in the Big Ten.
Givens was heavily recruited by Steve Spurrier of South Carolina but defensive line coach Larry Johnson Sr., who practically owns the state of Maryland when it comes to recruiting—Jelani Jenkins aside, convinced Givens to come to Penn State.
Givens will anchor the cornerback position as early as this year with little competition at the position. A.J. Wallace will be the senior at the position, but Givens will have to compete with D'Anton Lynn for the other cornerback spot in most formations.
Joining Givens will be Derrick Thomas (#28 above), also from Maryland, who turned down offers from Pittsburgh, Tennessee, Illinois, and Maryland.
Thomas played wide receiver in high school as well and could see some time at the position at Penn State if called upon. But his focus will be cornerback, providing another tall cornerback that could be on the opposite side of Givens in a couple years.
Thomas' high school teammate Stephon Morris will join him in the recruiting class. Morris is a little undersized for the position but has great reaction speed and outstanding awareness coming in that could make up for it. He will not win any lobs against most wide receivers but he will limit the damage done on yards after catch.
Curtis Drake is an interesting name. Out of Philadelphia, Drake comes to Penn State as an athlete who may see more time at cornerback.
Drake was not recruited heavily by anybody, but Penn State took note of his 6' 170 pound frame and pursued him for the defensive position. He has decent speed and passed for 1,350 yards and 20 touchdowns as a high school junior, in addition to adding 600 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns on the ground. Drake could also be a player used in some gadget plays down the line but we will see.
Rounding up the cornerback recruits is Michael Wallace, from Maryland. The speculation is that Wallace was offered a spot as part of a scheme to convince Jelani Jenkins to commit to Penn State. That part of the plan may have backfired, but Wallace adds depth to the position regardless.
He will have some work to do as he is both slightly undersized for cornerback and lacks the speed required to cover the top receivers from the opposition. Ared shirt year will help Wallace improve those skills.