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Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2014, 8:18 p.m.
 

Six weeks after proclaiming Penn State would “dominate the state” in recruiting, James Franklin and the Nittany Lions' new coaching staff have begun to show it.

Running back Saquon Barkley from Whitehall near Allentown gave a verbal commitment to Penn State on Wednesday. Barkley, a junior rated as a four-star prospect by Rivals.com for the Class of 2015, flipped his commitment from Rutgers.

The 5-foot-11, 190-pound Barkley is ranked among the top 200 players in the country for his graduating class by Rivals.com. He becomes the fourth Lions' commitment among current high school juniors and the second from Pennsylvania.

Offensive tackle Ryan Bates of Archbishop Wood High in Warminster was one of three to commit to Penn State on Saturday — PSU's “junior day” on campus. Bates and Barkley are considered among the top 10 of Pennsylvania's Rivals.com-rated 2015 class. Penn State had none of the state's top 10 players in the 2014 class signed two weeks ago.

Three of Penn State's four 2015 commitments are Rivals' four-star rated.

Among other reported scholarship offers Barkley held was one from Pitt. He originally committed to Rutgers in September but reports linked him to interest to Penn State even prior to the resignation of Bill O'Brien in late December.

On his Twitter account Wednesday, Barkey tweeted “#WeAre #107kstrong” and “I wanna thank RU and their coaches for all the support.”

Three running backs signed national letters of intent for the coming season Feb. 5. They join rising seniors Bill Belton and Zach Zwinak and sophomore Akeel Lynch as players at the position who have been on scholarship throughout their PSU careers.

Chris Adamski is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at cadamski@tribweb.com or via Twitter @C_AdamskiTrib.

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