Potential Recruiting Targets In The Wake Of Colon’s Decommitment
With last week’s unexpected decommitment of defensive tackle Christian Colon, it became increasingly important for James Franklin and his staff to look at their remaining targets for the 2016 class. The class currently sits at 19 commitments, hypothetically leaving room for six more if Franklin wants to take a full complement this cycle. Coincidentally, there seem to be about six names left on the board for 2016.
Tyrell Chavis: Penn State could be in a two-horse race for this three-star junior college defensive tackle with Auburn. Currently dominating the competition at Nassau Community College, Chavis has offers from 11 schools, including Auburn, Miami, West Virginia, and of course Penn State. After originally deciding to go to the University of Virginia as a member of the high school class of 2012, Chavis spent time at Fork Union Military Academy to hone his skills on and off the field. He then moved on to Nassau and is now looking to rejoin his Fork Union teammate Christian Hackenberg at Penn State. The recruitment has shown no recent developments, but he is certainly still on the staff’s big board for 2016.
Brendan Ferns or Aaron Hansford: For this spot on the big board I’m using two four-star linebackers with very different skill sets. Ferns is an inside linebacker from Ohio who has claimed that his top two schools are West Virginia and Penn State. His brother plays at West Virginia which could certainly be a deciding factor in choosing his new school, but Franklin and his staff are still coming after him hard. Hansford, on the other hand, is an outside linebacker from Washington, D.C. who was high on Penn State before the Lasch Bash. For whatever reason, his recruitment has slowed down since then and he has opened up to look at more schools. Both Ferns and Hansford seem like long shots to come to Penn State, but the staff is still pursuing them regardless as Penn State looks to add depth at linebacker.
Jordan Fuller: Fuller is an athlete and Franklin is recruiting him as such. The four-star from New Jersey can play a variety of positions due to his sheer athleticism and speed, ranging from defensive back (the position he would likely play in college) to quarterback (the position he plays primarily in high school). On October 5, Fuller cut down his list to eight schools in a recruitment that could play out until signing day. His list pits Penn State against Rutgers, UCLA, TCU, Ohio State, Notre Dame, Michigan, and Virginia Tech in the battle for his signature.
Damar Hamlin: Hamlin is going to be one of the most important recruitments in the 2016 cycle for Penn State football. The teams battling for his signature are Pitt and Ohio State, two teams that Franklin does not want to lose out to in an in-state recruiting battle. Hailing from Pittsburgh, the athletic cornerback also released a top school list (albeit in June) and hasn’t updated his recruitment much since. It will be important to get Hamlin back on campus for a visit before he makes his decision. Franklin and his staff will throw everything they have at Hamlin to earn his commitment, as a four-star of any type from the state of Pennsylvania should be Penn State territory.
Tre Nixon: Nixon’s is another recruitment that could draw out for a long time as he is one of the most sought-after targets in Penn State’s class of 2016. The four-star wide receiver has offers from some big players in college football, but seems to have his choices narrowed to Georgia and Penn State. Recently he has heard a lot from his home state school, Florida, and it could ultimately play a large role in the recruitment because of its proximity to his home. Nixon’s signature would be a big get for Penn State because he comes from the fruitful recruiting region of Florida and is the only wide-out Franklin is targeting in this cycle.
Lavert Hill: Lavert Hill is still committed to Penn State, but this doesn’t mean we’re not recruiting him. With multiple visits to Michigan (where his brother plays) in recent weeks, it will be important to get him back on campus soon to solidify his commitment. But again, he is still committed to play football at Penn State.