At this time last year, The Panic was building.
Penn State had only four commitments for its 2011 recruiting class. Between late July and mid November, not a single player pledged for the Nittany Lions.
Many fans began freaking out, and given the accelerated nature of today's recruiting, it was hard to blame them. Penn State eventually made up some ground and signed a small class (16 members) that didn't make much of a splash nationally. Some wondered if Penn State's recruiting momentum from 2010, when it inked the nation's No. 11 class according to ESPN Recruiting, had disappeared.
This week likely put those concerns to rest. Penn State made some major waves on the recruiting trail.
Cornerback Armani Reeves' announcement Friday that he'll play for Penn State capped an excellent week for the Lions. Penn State also picked up commitments from defensive tackle Tommy Schutt and wide receiver Eugene Lewis. ESPN Recruiting rates both Schutt and Lewis as four-star prospects, while Reeves has a three-star rating.
Several Big Ten teams were in the mix for both Reeves and Schutt, so Penn State has to feel good about the result, particularly after the decommitment of heralded defensive tackle Jarron Jones.
"Jones had greater potential on the offensive line, but Schutt's best fit is on defense and he may be better equipped to contribute quicker," ESPN Recruiting's Craig Haubert said. "He possesses good size playing around three-hundred pounds. He may not be a quick, penetrating, and disruptive force for Penn State, but this is a kid who gives good effort when he steps on the field and is simply a 'good football player.' He has the tools to be a tough and stout presence in the heart of the trenches and seems like a good fit in Happy Valley."
Penn State now has 16 commitments for the 2012 class, including two ESPNU 150 prospects in Schutt and offensive lineman Joey O'Connor.