Bill O'Brien's Penn State football coaching staff has secured its first verbal commitment, according to several online reports.
Evan Schwan, the 6-foot-6, 235-pound first-team Class AAAA all-state defensive end and Big 33 selection from Central Dauphin High School, received a scholarship offer during an official visit on Saturday. Schwan, whose father played for Purdue, visited UConn last weekend and also had offers from Iowa, Rutgers, Temple and Kent State.
Schwan was relatively unknown heading into the 2011 season before making 72 tackles and 16.5 sacks in 16 games to lead the Rams on a Cinderella run to the PIAA title on which they defeated defending champion North Allegheny and perennial power North Penn from suburban Philadelphia. Schwan barely played as a junior because of a fractured vertebrae and a torn labrum.
"Just missing all reps last year in practice makes it so much tougher. But he went hard in the weight room during the offseason,'' Central Dauphin coach Glen McNamee told the Harrisburg Patriot-News recently. "And once he hit the field, he wasn't tentative at all. He went after it.''
Schwan is the eighth player to commit to the Nittany Lions since Bill O'Brien was named coach and brings the number of Penn State recruits for 2012 to 20. However, that number soon might decrease by one, as ESPN reported Friday that Philadelphia quarterback Skyler Mornhinweg has decided to attend Florida instead of Penn State.
No confirmation from Mornhinweg, the son of the Philadelphia Eagles offensive coordinator, has appeared yet. Mornhinweg did visit Florida in the last week and also might be visiting Virginia Tech according to some reports. He originally had given a verbal commitment to Stanford.
It looks like Jeannette four-star safety De'metrious Cox might be Lions' last chance to add to its recruiting class before Wednesday's national signing day. Georgia defensive back prospects Carnell Boyd and Jordan Moore had considered visiting this weekend with Schwan, but did not come to University Park.
Cox is expected to announce his decision early this week. He is looking at Michigan State and Ohio State and is visiting Wisconsin this weekend.
The Lions might look to try to pick up a late commitment from Rutgers in light of Greg Schiano's late decision to leave the Scarlet Knights and become coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Offensive linemen J.J. Denman and Chris Muller could be targets, as both were recruited heavily by Penn State's previous coaching staff - Denman even committed to the Lions before changing to Wisconsin and then Rutgers. However, early reports have both those players remaining with the Scarlet Knights.
New Jersey linebacker Quanzell Lambert might be asked to get a second look, too. The Lions initially passed on the 6-2, 245-pound prospect when commitments from Camren Williams and Nyeem Wartman filled their quota at the position. Williams, though, decommitted in light of the coaching changes at Penn State and will sign with Ohio State.
Penn State is believed to have as many as 23 scholarships available in this class.