Delaware linebacker verbally commits to Penn State
By Scott Brown
Published: Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2013, 2:45 p.m.
Scholarship limitations have not slowed Penn State since a new recruiting cycle started earlier this month.
The Nittany Lions landed their second verbal commitment in four days on Tuesday when Delaware linebacker Troy Reeder pledged to sign with Penn State in 2014.
The 6-foot-3, 232-pound Reeder, who attends the Salesianum School in Wilmington, is also a standout lacrosse player, and he has scholarship offers to play both sports in college.
Reeder, a three-star prospect according to Scout.com, joins Virginia running back Nick Scott and Maryland running back Mark Allen in making non-binding commitments to Penn State's 2014 recruiting class. Both attended Penn State's junior day Saturday, and Scott gave coach Bill O'Brien a verbal commitment during his visit.
O'Brien's class will be limited in numbers because of NCAA sanctions, though how much is a guess at this point. Penn State is not permitted to sign more than 15 players for its 2014 class — that is 10 fewer than the maximum normally allowed — and it is not allowed to have more than 65 players on scholarship in 2014.
As such, Penn State may sign even fewer than 15 players in 2014, meaning O'Brien's staff has to be smart in how it uses its scholarships but also realistic given the sanctions that were levied against the program last July.
“They have to be selective, but they have to make sure they're not too selective,” Rivals.com national recruiting analyst Mike Farrell said.
Penn State has been straddling that line since the NCAA punished the football program in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky scandal.
O'Brien's first post-sanctions recruiting class — players signed letters on intent Feb. 6 — largely drew good reviews. And Farrell said Penn State is off to a promising start for 2014 with Allen, who committed to the Nittany Lions in October, Scott and Reeder.
Farrell said Scott and Reeder were “solid” additions for Penn State, as both are coveted by BCS schools. He expects the Nittany Lions to stay aggressive in terms of securing commitments despite the scholarship restrictions.
Many top prospects wait until after their senior season to make a commitment so they can take visits and sift through the promises and sweet talk from coaches.
“I think that (O'Brien) is a good enough talent evaluator to sit back and say: ‘You know what? Troy Reeder is as good a linebacker as we're going to get in October,' ” Farrell said.
Scott Brown is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter at ScottBrown_Trib.
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