Penn State football recruiting 2014: Nittany Lions reeling in skill position talent


Penn State has managed to recruit well in the face of NCAA sanctions, and the 2014 cycle has proven to be no exception.

Despite being under the gun of the NCAA, Penn State has put together another solid recruiting class in 2014. The Nittany Lions' group of 15 committed prospects ranks 4th in the Big Ten and 28th nationally, according to the 247Sports Composite index.

The headliner is Manahawkin, N.J. tight end Mike Gesicki, who is a four-star prospect, according to 247Sports, and the top-ranked tight end in the 2014 class. Gesicki committed in October over offers from Florida State, Ohio State, Wisconsin and several other top-shelf FBS programs. At 6'5, 236 pounds, Gesicki should make a nice target for rising sophomore quarterback Christian Hackenberg.

Joining Gesicki as pass-catchers in the Nittany Lions' offense will be a pair of four-star wide receiver commitments in DeAndre Thompkins and Chris Godwin. Thompkins and Godwin are the 33rd- and 28th-ranked receiving prospects, respectively, in the 2014 class, according to the 247Sports Composite index.

Penn State reached south into Bradenton, Fla. to scoop up quarterback commitment Michael O'Connor, the 12th-ranked pro-style quarterback in the 2014 class. At 6'4, 223 pounds, O'Connor is the 251st-ranked player in the 2014 class.

Top target -- Bud Elliott, National Recruiting Analyst

Penn State is really hoping to land Thomas Holley, a five-star defensive tackle from Brooklyn (NY) Abraham Lincoln High School. Holley is incredibly quick for being 6'4 and 290 pounds, and could play instant for the Nittany Lions' defense. Penn State will battle Ohio State, Notre Dame and others for his signature, but he is expected by many to choose Penn State.

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