Penn State secures 4-star recruits
Ten days after 2014's signing day, Penn State's new coaching staff began assembling its Class of 2015.
Three players made verbal commitments to the Nittany Lions during the program's first “junior day” under James Franklin: offensive tackle Ryan Bates, defensive end Kamonte Carter and safety Jarvis Miller.
Bates of Archbishop Wood High in Warminster and Carter of Gaithersburg, Md., are rated as four-star recruits by Rivals.com.
The 6-foot-5, 285-pound Bates sits is ranked as the No. 4 recruit in Pennsylvania by Rivals.com — the first fruits of Franklin's claims to “dominate the state.” Bates is No. 184 nationally (No. 22 tackle). Carter also is in the top 250.
At 6-4, 230 pounds, Carter has been termed an “athlete” by some recruiting services. He has played numerous positions, including quarterback.
Franklin said in announcing the 2014 class last week that offensive tackle had been identified as the Nittany Lions' greatest area of need. The second-biggest need? Safety. Two-star Connecticut native Miller, at 6-2 and 185 pounds, brings the size and length Penn State's coaches covet.
According to Rivals, Bates has offers from 15 major-conference schools (including Ohio State, Auburn and Pitt), and Carter had 10 (including West Virginia and Pitt).
About three dozen prospects were expected to visit University Park on Saturday. While it's early for high school juniors to commit, it's not uncommon. PSU's biggest rivals in the Big Ten East division — Ohio State and Michigan — also have two four-star verbal recruits, according to Rivals.
“The Big Ten has gotten better and stronger with the addition of James Franklin,” Rivals.com national recruiting analyst Mike Farrell said. “It'll be fun to watch Franklin, (Michigan coach Brady) Hoke and (Ohio State coach) Urban Meyer going at it.”