After a fast start, Penn State's 2012 football recruiting efforts seem to be going in reverse.
For the second time in less than two weeks, a highly ranked defensive tackle from the Northeast has decommitted from the Nittany Lions. Jamil Pollard, the 6-foot-5, 280-pounder from West Deptford, N.J. has withdrawn his verbal pledge a little more than two months after committing to Penn State, Rivals.com reported through its NJVarsity website on Sunday.
Pollard is rated the 179th-best prospect in this class by the website.
This comes 11 days after a television station broke the news that Rochester, N.Y. DT Jarron Jones, ranked as one of the three best prospects at his position and the highest-ranked player that had committed to the Nittany Lions, was also reopening his recruitment.
In comments to the website, Pollard said he had received other scholarship offers after he announced his intention to go to Penn State, and he wanted to explore his options. Verbal commitments are not binding by NCAA regulations.
Pollard appears to still be considering Penn State, and Rutgers also is expected to be a major player to land him.
Before Jones and Pollard changed their minds, Penn State had 11 verbal commitments toward its 2012 class and appeared on the verge of filling all its interior line needs and moving on to address its skill positions. Since Jones' decommitment, Scranton-area linebacker Nyeem Wartman gave the Lions a verbal, but a promising running back prospect, Akeel Lynch of Buffalo, picked Boston College over Penn State last week, although Lions247.com is reporting that Lynch may still visit Penn State.
Another skill player could announce his college choice this week. The Philadelphia Inquirer reported through its website that St. Joseph's Prep quarterback Skyler Mornhinweg could make a decision this week and Penn State, Tennessee, Alabama and Illinois are the contenders.
Mornhinweg committed to Stanford in 2009 but began looking elsewhere when Cardinal coach Jim Harbaugh left to take over the San Francisco 49ers. Mornhinweg is the son of Philadelphia Eagles offensive coordinator and former Detroit Lions head coach Marty Mornhinweg.