College Football Recruiting: How Penn State Sanctions Will Impact Decisions Of Recruits

By Chris Lionetti

No postseason play until 2015. Four year scholarship reduction until 2015. Eligible players can transfer and be eligible immediately at other institutions. These are three of the sanctions imposed upon Penn State by the NCAA, sanctions that may cause the team’s football roster to look completely different at the start of the season.

Universities are already contacting Penn State players about transferring to their own respective programs but the fallout from the NCAA punishment does not stop there. Recruits from the class of 2013 and class of 2014 are wavering on their commitments to the Nittany Lions, while some remain firm in their  commitments, and others have removed Penn State from their list of possible destinations. Here is a list of high school athletes to watch in wake of the NCAA’s sanctions.

CB Ross Douglas, Avon HS

Douglas is seen by multiple recruiting services as a top-25 corner in the class of 2013 and is a highly sought after recruit. Douglas was a long time Penn State commitment but  was disturbed by the NCAA’s findings and withdrew his commitment following Monday’s news. Shortly after hearing the news of his decommitment, Michigan upped their efforts to add the Ohio cornerback to their growing 2013 class. It did not take the Wolverines long to get their man as Douglas committed to the team early Tuesday afternoon.

TE Adam Breneman, Cedar Cliff HS

Breneman has grown up in Pennsylvania and committed to play ball in State College back in March.  Adam is considered by many to be the best tight end in the country in this year’s class and possesses multiple offers from Division 1 powerhouses. Breneman has received these offers despite not being able to play football this year due to a torn ACL. As the nation’s top tight end, Adam Breneman is a huge part of Penn State’s class and losing him would be a crippling blow. However, this is not the case as the tight end reaffirmed his commitment to the school on Monday night. Despite this news, expect programs such as Georgia and Alabama to continue their efforts to pry Breneman from Penn State.

QB Christian Hackenberg, Fork Union Military Academy

Just like fellow top prospect Adam Breneman,  quarterback Christian Hackenberg is seen by many as the top player at this position. Hackenberg is the prototypical pocket passer quarterback that scouts drool over and is being targeted by a number of the nation’s top football programs. He has yet to release an official statement on his commitment to Penn State but remains committed to the school for the time buying. Receiving interest from schools such as Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Miami, and South Carolina, it will be hard for the prized quarterback not to listen to what other coaches have to say about their programs.

While most of Penn State’s commitments remain committed, if recruits like Breneman or Hackenberg jump ship, expect a domino effect of decommitments to follow. It remains to be seen what will happen with this year’s recruiting class but whatever it may be can happen very fast.




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