New Hampshire DB Jake Kiley Commits to Penn State
July 26, 2011 – | No Comment

States like New Hampshire are often overlooked by college recruiters scouring the northeast. With a population of a little over 1.3 million (barely 14.5% of the population of New York City), the talent pool in …

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Counting Down the Lions: #39

Submitted by on August 1, 2009No Comment

In joining Charlie’s Top PSU moments, we’ve added another daily countdown feature here at quebecpenspinning. We’ll be measuring up the 50 most important players to Penn State’s success in the 2009 season.  You may have noticed that we’ve slacked off a little lately, but expect a few daily doses of Counting Down the Lions until we’re all caught up.

Checking in at #39 is a young player who hopes to get plenty of reps amongst a cloudy situation at defensive end: Eric Latimore.

Number: 56
Position: Defensive End
Class: Redshirt Sophomore
Height: 6′6
Weight: 264
Hometown: Middletown, DE
How’d He Get Here: Back in high school, Latimore was one of those kids who was big, but skinny, with the kind of frame that could “grow in to.”  A 3-star prospect on both recruiting services, Latimore held offers from the usual PSU competition: West Virginia, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, Syracuse, and, curiously enough, Miami.  As he so often does, Larry Johnson zeroed in on Latimore, and snagged the defensive end midway through the recruiting season, as Latimore committed to the Nittany Lions in October of 2005.  Unfortunately, shortly after choosing Penn State, Latimore suffered a serious shoulder injury during a high school game, requiring surgery.

2008 Results: Before his shoulder surgery, Latimore was considered a player who could see time as a true freshman, especially as an early enrollee.  However, the shoulder woes pushed back Latimore’s timetable, as he took a redshirt season in 2007 before stepping onto the field for the first time as a Lion in 2008, having put on 20 pounds since his high school graduation.  Latimore saw action in 9 games last season, racking up 7 tackles and one sack.  Though he saw time in most Penn State games, Latimore failed to record any action in Penn State’s biggest games; against Iowa, Ohio State, and USC.
What to Expect in 2009: Having lost their top three defensive ends from last season, Penn State is going to be looking for someone- anyone - to fill the void.  Though Jack Crawford seems entrenched at one end spot, the other one is up for grabs.  If Latimore can show something to the coaches during summer practice, and in the out-of-conference games that will serve to be little more than glorified scrimmages, Latimore could become a major part of the defensive end rotation.
Random Facts: Latimore counts, among his relatives, basketball legend Sonny Hill, and in that tradition, was a 2-time state basketball champion.  He also has a twitter, that offers such great insight as “Sittin here getting pissed at the big ten network it should be more penn state on here lol.”  So true.
The Final Word: Latimore is the wild card among the defensive ends at Penn State.  Jack Crawford has received rave reviews, and Jerome Hayes seems to be working his way back from his second ACL tear in as many seasons.  Plus, there’s speed rusher Kevion Latham, and even Bani Gbadyu has been seeing some time at DE as an edge rusher.  Latimore has great size and athleticism though, so seeing plenty of PT is not out of the equation.  He’s a player who could come up big for Penn State over the next few years.

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