ShareThis Page
Gorman: Penn State is ‘wild card’ for Whitehead |

Gorman: Penn State is ‘wild card’ for Whitehead

| Saturday, September 27, 2014 11:10 p.m
Christopher Horner | Trib Total Media
Central Valley's Jordan Whitehead works out July 29, 2014.

James Franklin hasn’t wasted any time using his charisma and charm on the recruiting trail to compile a national top-10 class.

We’ll soon find out whether the Penn State coach is a closer.

Adam Friedman, the Mid-Atlantic recruiting analyst, called Penn State the “wild card” in the recruitment of the top remaining prospect in the WPIAL.

The Nittany Lions are the dark horse for Central Valley cornerback Jordan Whitehead, given that he already has visited Pitt, Ohio State and West Virginia. Whitehead is in Happy Valley this weekend for his final official visit before announcing his college choice on Friday.

“You can’t count out the Penn State Nittany Lions, especially the way they’re recruiting lately,” Friedman said Friday on TribLIVE Radio. “James Franklin has been on an incredible hot streak.”

Franklin has 20 players committed from the Class of 2015. That includes Baldwin’s 6-foot-8, 310-pound offensive tackle Sterling Jenkins, an Under Armour All-American who is one of the Lions’ 12 four-star recruits and seven in-state recruits.

The 5-foot-11, 171-pound Whitehead is a four-star prospect ranked in the top 250 nationally by

“He’s got that ‘it’ factor,” Friedman said. “He’s a really tough player, very strong, instinctive, a technically sound player who has a lot of athleticism and potential all over the field.”

Whitehead has gone incommunicado to eliminate outside influences on his decision, Central Valley coach Mark Lyons said.

“When he put this process together, he wanted to give all four official visits their justice as far as evaluating them,” Lyons said. “I’m assuming this week he’ll kind of sit down and start coming to a choice.”

Whitehead also has schools he can compare to Penn State. He visited Pitt for its opener, and saw WPIAL products Tyler Boyd and James Conner play starring roles as sophomores.

Ohio State is considered the favorite, but the Buckeyes lost to Virginia Tech on Whitehead’s visit. When he visited West Virginia last weekend, his hosts were fellow Beaver County stars in running back Rushel Shell of Hopewell and safety Dravon Henry of Aliquippa.

Now, it’s Penn State’s turn.

“There’s been rumors that Whitehead isn’t a huge fan of the atmosphere on campus, but his mind could change after seeing it on game day,” Friedman said. “You never know what a player is going to think about it once he’s there.”

We’ll see if PSU is unrivaled when it comes to recruiting — and whether Franklin can close the deal.

Kevin Gorman is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at or via Twitter @KGorman_Trib.

Categories: News
TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.