As Penn State head coach Bill O'Brien is preparing for the upcoming season, he's also in the process of securing the next crop of Nittany Lions. After bringing in a solid group of freshman for 2013, the 2014 class is already shaping up to be even better.
Currently, 247sports.com has the Nittany Lions ranked as the 18th-best class for next year.
Penn State has received commitments from 10 recruits, including three 4-star recruits, according to 247Sports.com.
The class is heavy on offense at this point, with six of the recruits listed as wide receivers, running backs or linemen. That's not surprising given O'Brien's pedigree and knack for designing effective offenses.
Wide receivers De'Andre Thompkins and Chris Godwin are both 4-star recruits, according to Rivals.com, who will fit perfectly into the potent Penn State passing attack. Thompkins brings an added bonus with experience at cornerback, a position that could need some depth moving forward.
Troy Apke is a 3-star receiver from Pittsburgh, according to Rivals.com, who will add depth and could develop into a solid player over time.
The 2014 class also includes two running backs, Mark Allen and Nick Scott. Both are rated as 3-star recruits by Rivals.com and will be solid additions to the Penn State backfield. Running back depth is never a bad thing. In 2012, the Nittany Lions had five different backs carry the ball.
Noah Beh, a lineman from Pennsylvania, just decided to join the Nittany Lions while on campus for a camp this weekend. According to Sean Fitz of 247 sports.com, Beh can play both lines, but will likely find a home on the offensive side.
For all of the talent he's acquiring on offense, O'Brien is also doing a good job on defense.
Four-star recruit Marcus Allen had offers from schools such as Michigan State, Arizona and Nebraska, but chose to commit to Penn State. According to the 247sports.com composite rankings, he's the 23rd-ranked prospect at the safety position.
The Nittany Lions have a big need at linebacker on the current roster, so bringing in recruits for that position will be important. Three-star prospects, via 247Sports.com, Troy Reeder and Jared Wrangler will add depth and could be stars in the future.
Wrangler recently received an offer from LSU, but at this point, he's sticking with the Nittany Lions.
With the way the 2013 class turned out and the fact that 2014 is shaping up to be even better, O'Brien has shown that he's a masterful recruiter.
It's clear that despite everything that has happened, top talent is not afraid of committing to the Nittany Lions.
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