The first priority for Penn State recruiting was its receivers.
Now, the all-important defensive back situation could start clearing up quickly for the Nittany Lions’ 2014 class of prospects.
Coatesville High’s Daquan Worley reportedly informed Penn State assistant coach Ron Vanderlinden of his verbal commitment late Friday morning.
Worley is 5-foot-10 and 175 pounds and stars for former William Penn head coach Matt Ortega as a running back and defensive back. He is slotted as a cornerback and possible return man at Penn State.
Worley chose the Lions over Rutgers but also claimed scholarship offers from Georgia Tech and Pitt.
He only recently began generating Penn State recruiting buzz but is still a top talent, said Greg Pickel of FightOnState.com.
“You absolutely take him right away. He’s instinctive and you can’t really teach that with a cornerback or anybody,” Pickel said. “His speed and instincts stand out.
“He hasn’t had his name out there like some of the other guys, but this kid is a player you take in this class without question.”
Could Worley’s pledge start another Penn State recruiting run?
A few weeks ago, Pittsburgh-area receiver Troy Apke committed, which quickly was followed by verbal pledges from two other highly rated wideouts eager to find room in Penn State’s small class.
Now, Worley’s commitment could put some pressure on Troy Vincent of Baltimore’s Gilman School. He also is a hotly-pursued cornerback and is about the same size as Worley.
Vincent’s father was a standout cornerback for the Philadelphia Eagles.
Penn State figures to take at least two defensive backs in this recruiting class but also could leave open a spot for coveted Dravon Henry from Aliquippa High near Pittsburgh. He may be the top recruit on their entire board.
“I think they’re very much on the same playing field. I would not rank one over the other,” Pickel said, comparing Worley and Vincent.
Worley is the seventh commitment of a Penn State class that can sign no more than 15 prospects but actually may only have room for 12 or 13.
“Another nice get for PennState in Daquan Worley, doing good work close to home,” is what Mike Farrell, a national recruiting analyst for Rivals.com, posted on Twitter.
The Lions also want to take an offensive tackle, a defensive tackle and possibly a quarterback after the recent transfer of Steven Bench.