Buzz from State College


STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- There was plenty of buzz around the practice fields Sunday as the Nike Football Training Camp made its way to Happy Valley and was held on the campus of Penn State University.

" Doran Grant (Akron, Ohio/St. Vincent-St. Mary) and Dondi Kirby (Monroeville, Pa./Gateway) were the top two defensive backs working out at Penn State. Both are talking about playing cornerback in college, but only one seems likely to do so. Grant is a natural corner, while Kirby's size and skill set are much better suited to safety. Kirby's list of offers has grown to 13 with the recent additions of Ohio State, Iowa and North Carolina. Though the Buckeyes were not among Kirby's early offers, talk on Sunday centered on the star defensive back's interest in Ohio State.

" Defensive end Marco Jones (Baltimore, Md./Boys Latin School) has written scholarship offers from Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, Louisville and a few others. He has a verbal offer from Penn State and expects to receive a written offer from the Nittany Lions in the next week or so. According to one source Sunday, don't be surprised if the 6-foot-3, 245-pound Jones' decision comes down to Virginia or Penn State.

" When Kirby signs his national letter of intent in February, it will be nothing new at his school. There have been 10 Monroeville (Pa.) Gateway defensive backs who have signed with Division I colleges in the past four years, including Corey Brown, who signed with Ohio State two years ago.

" Quarterback/athlete Miles Shuler (Long Branch, N.J./Long Branch) worked out Sunday with the wide receivers. Shuler expects to play either wide receiver or running back in college, but looked more like a wide receiver. Shuler received a scholarship offer from Oklahoma last week to bring his total to 13. A lot can change, but early reports are that Pitt, Michigan, Oklahoma, Rutgers and Syracuse are the schools with the best shot at landing Shuler.

" Matt Johnson (Harrisburg, Pa./Bishop McDevitt) was named the MVP for the quarterbacks Sunday. He threw the ball very well both from the pocket and on the run. Johnson's arm looked strong enough as he made a variety of throws. If the 6-1 Johnson was a couple inches taller he would probably have received a number of scholarship offers by now. Johnson is receiving interest from Pitt, Rutgers, Iowa, Virginia, LSU and a few others, but is still awaiting his first offer. Most schools have told Johnson they want to see him throw this spring. If he throws like he did in Happy Valley on Sunday, that first offer may soon arrive.

" Penn State coach Joe Paterno is going to sign a small 2011 recruiting class. At this point the Nittany Lions have just 14 scholarships to give, and have yet to land a commitment this recruiting season. Right now, it is anybody's guess as to which prospect will break the ice and become JoePa's first 2011 commitment.

" Tanner McEvoy (Oradell, N.J./Bergen Catholic), who plays wide receiver and defensive back, has at least 11 scholarship offers. However, McEvoy worked out with the quarterbacks Sunday because he will likely play that position during his senior season. McEvoy (6-5, 205 pounds) looked very good throwing the ball. He is certainly an outstanding athlete and McEvoy has approximately a dozen scholarship offers including Rutgers, Pitt, Boston College, North Carolina, Virginia and Vanderbilt.

" Linebacker Armstead Williams (Monroeville, Pa./Gateway) received a verbal scholarship offer last week from Iowa, bringing his total to nine. "Michigan, Maryland, Indiana, Boston College, North Carolina State, Pitt and Illinois, those are the offers I have in writing," Williams said. "I'm looking at all of them right now."

Bill Kurelic covers recruiting for ESPN affiliates Nittanynetwork.com, Bucknuts.com and Spartantailgate.com.