The Penn State Nittany Lions are off to a solid start in recruiting for the class of 2014. Head coach Bill O’Brien has already landed 11 recruits, three of which are listed in the first edition of the ESPN 300. Only Michigan has more in the Big Ten, with nine recruits making the list.
Four-star prospect De’Andre Thompkins is currently the Nittany Lions’ top recruit. ESPN ranks Thompkins No. 54 overall and the fifth-best athlete in the class. He was a standout at Swansboro High School in North Carolina, playing running back, wide receiver and cornerback. He also showed talent returning kicks. Thompkins will be a great addition to an already loaded Penn State offense.
Michael O’Connor, the Nittany Lions’ most recent commitment, currently ranks at No. 125 on the list. He’s a four-star quarterback, who possesses a strong arm and is one of the top in the country at his position. O’Connor’s signing marks the second-straight year that the Nittany Lions were able to sign a top quarterback. Christian Hackenberg, one of the top quarterbacks of the class of 2013 will be a freshman in Happy Valley this season.
The third member of Penn State’s 2014 class that appears in the top 300 is Chris Godwin. The three-star wide receiver from Delaware is currently ranked No. 153 overall for the class of 2014. Godwin had a great senior season this past fall, finishing with 834 yards and 12 touchdowns. He was named the Gatorade State Player of the Year.
Despite recruiting restrictions and a four-year postseason ban, O’Brien has been successful in bringing top talent to Penn State.
After signing a solid class in 2013, 2014 is off to an even better start. Currently, the Nittany Lions are ranked as high as No. 16 by the national recruiting services. Thompkins, O’Connor and Godwin have set a strong foundation for what is shaping up to be another excellent crop of young Nittany Lions.