Blue White Roundtable: Alabama Week Edition
September 7, 2011 – | 1 Comment

Once again, it’s Adam Collyer over at BlackShoeDiaries providing the questions, and we, your humble bloggers, providing the answers. Mine are below, and you can venture off to the remote areas of the blogosphere that …

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Junior Day Keeps Commits Coming: Wilkerson Picks Penn State

Submitted by on March 26, 2011No Comment

Junior Day–and the 2012 recruiting class–are off to a rollicking start for Joe Paterno and crew. For the second time in as many days, and for the third time in a week, Penn State has secured a verbal commitment from a high-rated target.

Today, it’s Brent Wilkerson, a versatile prospect from Hyattsville, Maryland, who could figure in on either the offensive or the defensive sides of the ball during his future college days at Penn State. Wilkerson, who should play either defensive end or tight end at the next level, comes from powerhouse DeMatha High School–the alma mater of, among others, PSU alum Derek/Cameron Wake. It’s also the school Darian Cooper will graduate from at the end of this year, and it’s good to see that the Nittany Lions potential bungling of that situation hasn’t hurt them here.

But the 6’3, 242-pound Wilkerson boasts a strong offer sheet, with scholarships coming in from virtually every school in the region–from Clemson to Virginia Tech, West Virginia to Rutgers, and plenty of interest from other Big Ten schools, like Nebraska (yeah, that feels weird) Michigan, Michigan State, and Iowa. He hasn’t been rated yet by ESPN or Rivals, but got a preliminary 3-star ranking from Scout, for those who care.

Wilkerson (and teammate Michael Moore) was recently interviewed by Rutgers’ Rivals affiliate (free, and I suggest you read it), and gave some interesting insight. For one, Wilkerson became a highly sought-after prospect despite playing just one year of varsity football, and he only picked up the sport in 8th grade. More nuggets:

What do you guys think your major strengths are as defensive ends?

Wilkerson: Like Mike said, I’m a little faster and I’m always trying to be quick off the line. I’m trying to do a little shake-and-bake and use my speed to get around a guy. Once in awhile, if I get a guy off-balance, I’ll try to bull-rush him. But mostly it’s speed and footwork.

I know you guys both play tight end, too. Which do you like better — defensive end or tight end?

Wilkerson: I’m 50-50 on that. I like both and could play either one in college. I like catching and I like getting sacks. The one thing I don’t like is blocking, but I’ll accept it (laughs).

When you guys actually do start looking closely at schools, what will you be looking for?

Wilkerson: Education, tradition, the campus and the coaches. The coaches are probably the least important because they come and go. The campus is more important then you’d think because I have to be in a place where I want to live the next four years. And, of course, education is why you’re there in the first place, so I value that highly.

Penn State’s coaching staff has certainly refocused its recruiting efforts, after really struggling a year ago. With a bigger class, they could afford to go harder earlier, but let’s not forget that at this time last year, Penn State was still looking for its first verbal. Shawn Oakman was the third high schooler to announce in favor of the Blue and White, and that announcement came July 2nd. But bringing 20+ prospects onto campus in the middle of March for unofficial visits seems to have paid obvious dividends. Now, the question remains how long they can keep up the momentum, and whether Paterno and co. can start to land some of the even bigger fishes.

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