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Penn State Football: Four Big Recruiting Summer Targets For Bill O'Brien

by on May 23, 2012 7:11 AM

Just over a month since the verbal commitment of Hershey native guard Andrew Nelson, the Penn State recruiting trail has gone relatively cold.

While the flurry of early verbal commitments was an added bonus to the start of Bill O'Brien's tenure, it did not reflect the usual pace of an early recruiting class.

As Penn State's coaching staff gears up for June football camps the potential for more verbal commitments will grow as talented recruits across the eastern region will stop by to see what Penn State has to offer.

With dozens of scholarship offers currently out, any recruit could pull the trigger, but here are four names the Nittany Lions are still hoping to land.

Dorian Johnson: The four-star, 6-foot-6, 275-pound offensive tackle prospect out of Belle Vernon High School in Pittsburgh, would be a huge addition to the 2013 class. With offers out from schools like Notre Dame, Maryland, Virginia Tech and Pittsburgh, Johnson isn't lacking any suitors. Johnson recently took a visit to his home town school and currently has the Panthers leading Penn State by a slim margin. While Johnson says he would like to stay close to home to help look after his mother and family, Penn State may be able to close the gap in the coming weeks. A verbal commitment from Johnson would be a great addition for offensive line coach Mac McWhorter.

Alex Anzalone: After his decommitment from Ohio State, the four-star Wyomissing Area linebacker has been back in Bill O'Brien's sights. At 6-foot-3, 220 pounds and offers from over 25 schools, Anzalone would be a perfect get for the new "Linebacker U." Anzalone has publicly stated that Penn State is in his Top 5, but after a messy departure from the Buckeyes, Anzalone has said he's going to take the process slow. Five-star tight end and Penn State commit Adam Breneman will be joining Anzalone later this summer at "The Opening," a premier event held at Nike headquarters. Penn State likely is catching up with Florida in the race to land the talented linebacker.

David Williams: Having visited Penn State multiple times and having said he's high on Penn State, many Nittany Lion fans have wondered why the Philadelphia native from Imhotep Charter hasn't pulled the trigger. Williams says he's taking his time to mull over offers from schools like Ohio State, Notre Dame, Michigan State, Temple, and South Carolina, but his relationship with Penn State's 2013 recruits and coaching staff makes his verbal commitment merely a formality. While the landscape of college football recruiting changes on a daily basis, the time may soon come for Williams to pick his school. The longer it takes, though, the more uneasy it will make the Penn State faithful.

Robert Foster: The Pennsylvania native from Central Valley High School is not only rated a five-star receiver by, but the top wideout in the 2013 class. Foster has been quiet about his entire recruiting process but did mention last week on Twitter that Penn State visited him at school. Obviously landing top national talent within state borders is a huge goal for O'Brien's staff. Landing Foster would be a huge accomplishment in that regard. Foster, at 6-foot-2, 180 pounds, holds offers from several schools including Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, Ohio State and Oregon.

Ben Jones covers Penn State football and basketball for He's on Twitter as @Ben_Jones88.
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