It’s no secret that Penn State has to be selective when extending offers on the recruiting trail because starting in 2014, the Nittany Lions will have 20 fewer scholarships to hand out for four seasons. However, head coach Bill O’Brien and his staff has found a loophole that may land them one of the nation’s top recruits.
Jabrill Peppers (Paramus, N.J. Paramus Catholic) enjoyed his visit to State College last month and despite being chased by two perennial powers in the Big Ten among some of the national powers across the nation, Penn State sticks out because of what they can offer Peppers that no other school is likely to promise him.
Ranked as the No. 1 athlete in the nation by 247Sports and the No. 2 player in the nation according to Rivals, the 6-1, 210-pound Peppers can play offense and defense for O’Brien’s team as a freshman.
Doubling as a running back/wide receiver and a cornerback/safety is one way to make the best of the limited scholarships and using one scholarship on two positions and finding multitalented athletes will be vital to the future recruiting classes at Penn State.
Recruits ranked as high as Peppers want to play and play early. At Penn State he will hardly come off the field and could be the closest thing the conference has seen since Charles Woodson won the Heisman at Michigan.
He may remind some fans of former Nittany Lions athletes, Derrick Williams or Justin King who came to State College as highly regarded recruits with the potential to play on either side of the ball. While their careers never quite lived up to the hype that preceded their arrival to Happy Valley, Peppers is a rare breed of athlete that can be a transcendent player.
If he chooses Penn State over his other suitors, which I’m going out on a limb and saying he will, then he may have a similar career arc to that of Woodson.