Alabama recruit picks PSU

Penn State’s recruiting has been going south lately.

Not figuratively. Literally.

The Nittany Lions, who’ve gotten commitments from several players from states below the Mason-Dixon line since James Franklin and his coaching staff arrived from Vanderbilt got another on Monday night when Alabama safety Christian Campbell announced a surprise choice of Penn State, according to internet reports.

Campbell was expected to choose either Indiana or Minnesota. He visited those schools in the last two weeks, after previously checking out Missouri and Southern Mississippi as his recruiting took off a bit in the last half-month – Syracuse recently came through with a scholarship offer, and Boise State also was in the mix.

A 6-foot, 181-pounder, Campbell is a three-star prospect from Phenix City Central High School who made nine tackles in the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Classic. As a senior, he had 60 tackles, four interceptions and five pass breakups in eight games after making 83 tackles and picking off three passes as a junior.

“He’s got great range,” Central coach Woodrow Lowe told recently. “He’ll hit you also. He’s kind of a quiet leader who leads by example.”

Campbell is the fourth southern player to commit to the Lions since Jan. 20, joining Georgia cornerback Grant Haley, Virginia quarterback Trace McSorley and, at the end of last week, Florida corner Amani Oruwariye. Penn State also hosted Florida prep defensive back Lamont Simmons over the weekend and is hoping to hold onto Kentucky defensive end Lloyd Tubman, who committed to the Lions soon after Franklin arrived but, according to online reports is thinking of signing with Kentucky on Wednesday instead.

If Tubman sticks, Penn State will have 25 players in this class, five of whom are already enrolled and will count against 2013 scholarship limits.

– Philip Cmor