Wide receiver and the defensive secondary are two of the key areas Penn State will need to address in its 2009 football recruiting class, but one in-state player that could have filled a spot in either of those positions is heading elsewhere.
In something of an unexpected move, Philadelphia Northeast blue-chip prospect Je'Ron Stokes announced Sunday that he had made a verbal commitment to Tennessee after taking a weekend visit to Knoxville. Penn State was believed to have a strong chance at landing Stokes.
Stokes told Scout.com he had narrowed his list to five schools -- Tennessee, Penn State, Oklahoma, Illinois and Minnesota -- before making his trip.
Scout.com has Stokes as the fifth-ranked wide receiver in this class, and Rivals.com rates Stokes as the 44th-best prospect in the country. The 6-foot-1, 185-pounder had more than 20 scholarship offers.
The news came less than 24 hours after Penn State held its second junior day. The Nittany Lions, who might have in excess of 25 scholarships available in the coming year, reportedly entertained one of its largest groups ever, with more than 50 prospects on campus.