April 29, 2011
Lions look good at LB
With West Roxbury, Mass. athlete Camren Williams verbally committed, the Nittany Lion coaching staff is right where they want to be when it come to linebackers in the Class of 2012. But with Nate Stupar, Michael Mauti[/db[ and [db]Gerald Hodges set to graduate in the next two years, Penn State will look to take at least one, possibly two more if they want to feel safe heading into the future.
Two of the coaching staff's most prominent targets, James Ross and Nyeem Wartman have already made it to campus this spring, Ross being the most recent (April 9). St. Mary's head coach George Porritt said that Ross enjoyed his trip to Happy Valley so much, that it may have put the Nittany Lions amongst his top three.
"He's very interested in (Penn State), I know it's one of the schools he's taking a close look at," Porritt said. "I think it's big that Allen (Robinson) and Rob (Bolden) are there, plus it's one of those schools that have always had good linebackers. He's interested in them and the two state schools, Michigan and Michigan State.
"I'd say that those are his three leading schools right now."
The Rivals250 to watch list member relaxed this week while St. Mary's was on spring break, but come Monday, coach Porritt knows quite a few coaches will be stopping by.
"We've been on spring break all this week, so no school has been in yet. I would think (Vanderlinden) would be in the next week or so. I don't know exactly which day or when, I've had a lot of coaches ask and I've had to tell them all that we're on spring break.
"There is going to be a lot of coaches coming through here in the next few weeks."
So with Michigan, Michigan State and Penn State looking like tentative leaders, where does that leave some of Ross' other major offers?
"He's been to Ohio State, he's been to a lot of places, he's been to Notre Dame and he's liked a lot of things about a bunch of different schools. I just know that those three (Penn State, Michigan and Michigan State) are three he's really interested in right now."
Another one of Penn State's top targets is Quanzell Lambert from Timber Creek H.S. in Sicklerville, N.J. The 6-foot-2, 230 pound inside linebacker prospect has been trying to make it to Happy Valley all month, but a trip never materialized until now.
"I'll be coming up there on Friday," said Lambert. "I'm just coming with my coach. I'm looking forward to it, I've been there before and I've seen a lot, but every time I go somewhere, there is always something new."
Lambert's two biggest draws will be early playing time and education. While he knows early playing time is never easy at 'Linebacker U', Lambert is excited to check out what Penn State's academics have to offer.
"They said I'll be looking into that tomorrow, that should be good. That's one of the few things I haven't looked into up there yet."
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