Troy Vincent Jr., a 3-star recruit and one of the 30 best cornerback prospects in America, has flipped his commitment from Penn State to North Carolina State, costing new head coach James Franklin another key piece of his first half-class at State College.
According to Tom VanHaaren of ESPN.com:
Defensive back Troy Vincent Jr. (Baltimore, Md./Gilman) switched his commitment from Penn State to N.C. State on Thursday according to multiple reports.
Vincent Jr.’s decision leaves coach James Franklin with 20 commits, and despite not having a ton of time until signing day, there might still be plenty of options to fill that spot.
This news comes on the heels of Thomas Holley's flip from Penn State to Florida. Holley, a defensive tackle from New York, was the highest-ranked member of PSU's recruiting class and is a 5-star prospect on the 247Sports subjective ratings.
After Holley's defection, Vincent Jr. was the sixth-highest-ranked player left in the Penn State recruiting class, per the 247Sports composite. Still burdened by NCAA sanctions and scholarship restrictions, the Nittany Lions have been unable to land a deep, stable group of players in 2014.
There is still some quality talent at the top of the class, but most of it comes on offense with quarterback Michael O'Connor and a trio of very good pass-catchers. Penn State only has one other cornerback committed this cycle, 3-star Daquan Worley, so losing Vincent Jr. is far from ideal.
Franklin must now find a replacement at the position before national signing day. Former Vanderbilt commit Grant Haley, another 3-star prospect, opened his recruitment after Franklin left Nashville and has a scholarship offer from Penn State. The Atlanta, Ga., product would be a nice consolation, though Vincent Jr. is the higher-ranked prospect.
VanHaaren also mentions Trent Sherfield, another former Vanderbilt commit, as an option to fill the open spot.
Vincent Jr. is also the son of former NFL cornerback Troy Vincent, who was drafted seventh overall in 1992 and made five straight Pro Bowls with the Philadelphia Eagles between 1999 and 2003. Given the overlap between Penn State students and Eagles fans, Happy Valley seemed like a natural fit.
The loss moved PSU down from No. 28 to No. 30 on the 247Sports team rankings. If he wants to land a top-25 class, Franklin has his work cut out for him.