Penn State's 2014 National Signing Day Wish List
He's only been on the job a few days, but James Franklin has been a busy man.
Since being named Penn State's head coach last Saturday, Franklin has added three new recruits to Penn State's 2014 class—defensive end Lloyd Tubman and offensive tackles Chance Sorrell and Brendan Brosnan. All three had previously committed to Franklin at Vanderbilt.
But all hasn't been fine and dandy, as two players have decommitted from the class this week. Highly touted defensive tackle Thomas Holley announced his decision to go to Florida on Wednesday, and cornerback Troy Vincent Jr. turned down the Nittany Lions for N.C. State on Thursday night, according to Rivals.com.
The class currently sits at 20 recruits, and Franklin doesn't have much more room to work with. Penn State can sign a maximum of 23 players in 2014, due to the NCAA's scholarship penalty levied on the program. Of those 23 scholarships, three will count toward 2013's total.
With that said, here are a few recruits that Franklin and his staff would love to see sign with the Nittany Lions on national signing day.
All recruiting rankings and information are courtesy of 247Sports.
Lamont Simmons, Cornerback
A guy like Lamont Simmons is a bigger priority for the Nittany Lions now than he might have previously been. With the news of Troy Vincent Jr. decommitting from Penn State, James Franklin could be in the market to add another defensive back.
Simmons is a big corner, standing 6'2" and weighing 180 pounds. He's a 3-star prospect and the No. 68-ranked cornerback recruit in the nation. Here's a look at some strengths of his game from Todderick Hunt of NJ.com:
It's not often you find a long-armed cornerback with the overall length of Simmons, who can also run with receivers. He encompasses the size of some of the bigger receivers he will face on the next level, which will aid him in his ability to compete for the football at its highest point. He is nimble, has loose hips, good instincts and transitions from his pedal as effortlessly as some of the shorter, elite corners across the country.
Simmons had originally pledged to Rutgers but decommitted back in November.
The Nittany Lions currently have Daquan Worley committed to the class, but he's coming off an ACL injury. The secondary was a big area of concern in 2013, so adding depth to the unit should be a high priority for Franklin right now.
Auburn and USC are two programs that are high on Simmons' list right now. He is scheduled to take an official visit to Penn State on January 28.
Koa Farmer, Safety
Koa Farmer just recently popped up on Penn State's radar.
A safety from California, he was offered by Penn State on Wednesday. The 3-star recruit is currently a Cal verbal commit.
Listed as a safety, Farmer isn't necessarily locked in at that position. At 6'1" and 200 pounds, he could be a candidate to move to linebacker. Andrew Shay of Penn Live offered up an assessment of Farmer, who played a variety of positions in high school:
Farmer does a little bit of everything well. At Notre Dame he played quarterback, wide receiver, strong safety, outside linebacker and returned kicks.
His athleticism isn't up for debate. He possesses a big frame and is a fierce hitter. Watching him on film, he's a monster in space on both sides of the ball.
Whether he ends up playing safety of linebacker in college, his sound and fundamental tackling will serve him very well.
According to Greg Biggins of Scout.com, Farmer was being heavily recruited by Vanderbilt when Franklin was the head coach.
Along with Vanderbilt, Farmer also has offers from Washington and Arizona State. Franklin will likely turn up the heat in the coming weeks to try and pluck him from the West Coast.
Amani Oruwariye, Defensive Back
Tampa native Amani Oruwariye is yet another prospect who was offered by Franklin once he took over in Happy Valley.
A 3-star recruit, Oruwariye is classified as either a cornerback or safety, depending on which recruiting service you look at. Standing 6'1" and weighing 180 pounds, he has the frame to play either position.
He's a long cornerback who can change direction very quickly. He doesn't have top-tier speed, but what he lacks in that category he makes up for with good instincts.
He had originally committed to Vanderbilt but recently re-opened the recruiting process after hearing from Penn State. Franklin has already flipped three Commodores pledges and probably wouldn't mind adding to that number. Oruwariye could look to schedule an official visit to Happy Valley.
He also has offers from schools like Arizona, Michigan State and Louisville, but the feeling now is that it's between Penn State and Vanderbilt.
His addition would help compensate for the loss of Troy Vincent Jr. Oruwariye was supposed to take an official visit to Vanderbilt on January 24 but could be headed to State College that weekend instead.
Derrick Nnadi, Defensive Tackle
The chance of Derrick Nnadi coming to Penn State decreased after Thomas Holley originally committed. With Holley now out of the fold, Penn State could be back in play for Nnadi.
Rated as a 4-star prospect, he's been on Penn State's radar for a long time. He took an official visit to State College back in December.
At 6'1" and 305 pounds, he already has the size to compete at the next level. He's a high-motor player who is good at the point of attack and possesses solid strength.
The problem facing Franklin and his staff now is that Larry Johnson Sr. recruited Nnadi when he was at Penn State. Johnson was recently named the defensive line coach at Ohio State, and Nnadi has an offer from the Buckeyes. He'll even take an official visit to Columbus this weekend.
With Penn State's lack of experience at the defensive tackle position, a player of Nnadi's caliber would compete for playing time from the start. With Penn State seemingly on the outside looking in, Franklin and company will likely emphasize this to lure in one of the nation's best in the trenches.
If the Nittany Lions can find a way to ink Nnadi, it will make up for the loss of Thomas Holley. Per his Twitter account, Nnadi will make his decision on February 5.
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