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Penn State Football: Six Key Targets For the 2014 Recruiting Class

by on May 29, 2012 6:00 AM

Penn State is off to a great start in its 2013 recruiting class, so coach Bill O'Brien and his staff already have begun sizing up prospects for the Class of 2014.

Currently sophomores in high school, nine different players have been offered scholarships to play for the Nittany Lions in 2014, according to Scout.com.

As time goes on, Penn State's list of recruits will continue to grow.

For now, here are the top six targets on the radar for 2014.

Da'Shawn Hand: Considered by many to already be the top player in the class, the 6-foot-4, 245-pound defensive tackle out of Woodbridge, Va., has racked up 27 scholarship offers. Penn State ought to benefit from having its top recruiter, defensive line coach Larry Johnson, also coaching Hand’s position. Top prospects like Hand will sort through all of their major offers before pulling the trigger.

Andrew Brown: At 6-foot-3, 286 pounds, it isn’t a surprise that the talented defensive tackle is catching Penn State’s eye. However, like most big recruits, Brown isn’t short on offers, picking up interest from Alabama, Ohio State, Florida, Nebraska and Michigan to name a few. Out of Chesapeake, Va., Brown falls right into the Lions' recruiting area if they can get him to commit.

Kevin Crosby: Keeping the defensive theme going, the 6-foot-1, 226-pound inside linebacker from Bamberg, S.C., has over 30 offers from almost every major Division I program. With few needs on the offensive side of the ball, Penn State should be favored to land at least one of these defensive studs, but only time will tell if Crosby leans the Nittany Lions’ way.

Michael Ferns: Compared to some of the previous targets, Ferns has 19 scholarship offers, making him seem like a secondary target at linebacker. However with offers from Ohio State, Notre Dame, Michigan State and Wisconsin, landing the 6-foot-3, 235-pound Saint Clairsville, Ohio native would be a solid get for Penn State.

Quin Blanding: A native of Virginia Beach, Va., he just finished up at the Baltimore Nike Camp, where he was the first underclassman named to the Gridiron Kings camp in the event's history, as well as defensive back MVP. At 6-foot-2, 196 pounds, Blanding’s size and 4.55 speed has helped him pick up offers from schools like Ohio State, Notre Dame and Clemson.

Moral Stephens: The Perry, Fla. native and talented wide receiver is one of only two offensive players currently with an offer from Penn State. Generally speaking, with a strong 2012 and '13 haul on the offensive side of the ball, the 2014 class ought to be light on big offensive targets. That being said, with offers from Ohio State, Miami and several other schools, the Lions aren't hesitating to go after Stephens, a 6-foot-3, 205-pound weapon.

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