Another week, another big splash in recruiting for new Penn State head coach Bill O’Brien. And this one might be the biggest one yet.
Tight end Adam Breneman from Camp Hill, Pa (5 miles from Harrisburg) announced his decision to attend Penn State from the Cedar Cliff High School gymnasium in an event that was open to the public.
Breneman, who is listed at six-foot-five and 220 lbs, had over thirty offers from major college football programs around the country. He eventually narrowed his decision down to four schools and ultimately chose the Nittany Lions over Ohio State, Notre Dame, and Maryland. He set tonight as his decision date last week, and there have been four very anxious fan bases for the past nine days.
Breneman is ranked as the top tight end recruit in the nation by all major recruiting services. Scout rates him as a five star recruit while Rivals and 247 have him at four stars and the twenty-second and twenty-ninth ranked prospect in the country, respectively. During his junior season, he recorded 72 receptions for 1120 yards and 12 touchdowns in 12 games. In addition to securing a top quarterback recruit -which has already been accomplished- Breneman was a main priority for next year’s class.
This announcement marks another good week for O’Brien and staff. Last Sunday, they received a verbal from 6-4, 225 lb. defensive end Garrett Sickels out of Little Silver, New Jersey. Sickels is rated as a four-star recruit by Rivals and the 50th overall prospect in the country. He had over twenty offers from schools including Nebraska, Notre Dame, Florida, Alabama, and Ohio State. A highlight video of his junior season can be found here.
Penn State now has four verbals for the Class of 2013 and continues to pick up momentum with tonight’s announcement. On one hand, Breneman is another body on the football field but may symbolize much more. Penn State has not had a recruit this highly rated in over half a decade and has recently struggled to keep top Pennsylvania talent from escaping to other national powers. Sickels, Christian Hackenberg, and now Breneman have all opted for Penn State when there was either an offer from Urban Meyer, Nick Saban, or both on the table as well as several other high profile programs.
Breneman is also on record saying he wants to be an active recruiter for whatever school he chose and had this to say in a recent article while discussing his options:
“Penn State has always been the school I’ve been a fan [of], I grew up a fan and I’m still a fan. I visited the Friday before the big junior day so I got to spend a lot of time with coach O’Brien and his staff. The most important football factor for me is how I’ll be used as a tight end and you can see with what he did with Aaron Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski in New England that his offense is very tight end friendly. It’s also close to home which is a bonus and I think the staff will point things in the right direction.”
Since Andrew Quarless departed after the 2009 season, Penn State has received next to nothing from the tight end position in terms of receiving. That is about to change with O’Brien running the show and Breneman’s eventual arrival. Video highlights can be found here, and Breneman is on Twitter @AdamBreneman87.
Onward State will have more reactions regarding Breneman and Penn State recruiting as a whole in the coming week, but tonight should be reason to celebrate for Penn State fans.