One of the most highly rated members of Penn State's 2013 recruiting class is heading elsewhere, and another might be looking elsewhere.
Ohio cornerback Ross Douglas and New Jersey defensive tackle Greg Webb, both four-star prospects, visited other colleges this weekend according to multiple internet reports. Douglas reportedly was at Nebraska on Friday, while Webb was en route to North Carolina with Timber Creek High School teammate Dajaun Drennon, a blue-chip defensive end.
Webb and Drennon both committed to the Tar Heels during their visit, Rivals.com analyst Mike Farrell reported through social media on Saturday.
Webb was the fourth-ranked recruit on Penn State's commitment list according to 247Sports before changing his mind. Douglas is now ranked fifth by 247Sports of the Lions' 13 remaining pledges.
Earlier in the day, Farrell posted on Twitter that Webb also would be making trips to Florida State and South Carolina and his commitment to Penn State now should be considered "very soft.'' There were reports earlier this summer that Webb would visit several southern colleges, but Webb at the time said he was committed to Penn State and didn't intend to make those trips.
Verbal commitments are not binding by NCAA rule, and players can change their mind without any penalty. Only a signed letter-of-intent is binding.
Douglas was considered one of the most strongly committed Lion recruits before the visit to Nebraska and was cited by other prospects as someone who was in contact with them as a positive influence in their recruitment by Penn State. He was one of the first players to announce a pledge to the Lions for this class and has raised his stock in several camps and competitions since announcing
Douglas was believed to be looking at enrolling at Penn State in January along with Cedar Cliff's Adam Breneman, the nation's No. 1-rated tight end. Several internet sources, though, said that Nebraska has continued to recruit Douglas.
Losing Douglas and Webb would be a major hit on this recruiting class. Not only as both top-ranked prospects, the Lions are in the process of trying to build depth on defense and balance out their scholarships on both sides of the ball - currently only about 30 of the 85 allowed scholarships on Penn State's roster are held by defensive players.
The secondary is particularly thin, with the Lions expected to try to sign as many as five defensive backs. Douglas is considered a strong candidate for early playing time should he sign with Penn State.
Penn State is expected to try to land appoximately 23 players in its 2013 recruiting class.