By Philip Cmor
Alex Kenney was the first player to provide Penn State with his football letter of intent Wednesday. That probably should have been expected, because Kenney has always been very fast - he's the co-holder of the District 6 Class AAA 100-meter dash record and a multi-medal PIAA sprint winner.
It was apropos of a signing day that went off with no surprises where the Nittany Lions were concerned.
All the players they expected to sign did, and all of the players they were pursuing but were considered long shots for Penn State to land - Georgia defensive tackle Mike Thornton, North Carolina safety Keenan Allen and South Carolina running back Marcus Lattimore - went elsewhere.
Thirteen players signed with the Nittany Lions on Wednesday, the first being Kenney, whose father, a Penn State employee, hand delivered his son's signed letter of intent. Ten more followed in the morning, with Texas wide receiver Levi Norwood - son of former Penn State assistant Brian Norwood - and Erie cornerback Shyquawn Pullium faxing in the afternoon.
Seven other Lion recruits had already enrolled at Penn State for this semester, eliminating the need for them to sign.
The Nittany Lions' class was ranked sixth by ESPN, seventh by Scout.com and 11th by Rivals.com.
Penn State's rating would have been higher had it managed to reel in Thornton, Allen or Lattimore.
Believed to be favoring Penn State a couple of months ago, Thornton signed with Georgia over the Lions and Kentucky on Wednesday. Meanwhile, Allen, the nation's top-ranked safety who was a last-minute possibility for Penn State after decommitting from Alabama, picked California.
Lattimore, one of the top three running backs in the country, had publicly eliminated Penn State in the weeks leading up to signing day, but rumors persisted that the Nittany Lion coaches where still in contact trying to get him to reconsider. However, he wound up selecting South Carolina instead of Penn State or his other finalist, Auburn.
Also, former Nittany Lion wide receiver commit Adrian Coxson signed with Florida. Coxson was one of Penn State's first verbal commitments for 2010, pledging back in April. However, the Lions and Coxson appeared to reach a mutual decision to part ways.
Coxson will join another player once verbally committed to the Lions for this year's recruiting class, New York defensive lineman Dominique Easley, with the Gators.
The Mirror will have a full analysis of Penn State's recruiting effort - as well as those of other colleges of local interest - on Sunday.