Penn State hosted more than 20 prospective players for its annual junior day this past weekend in the hopes of getting the ball rolling for a 2014 recruiting class that had just one verbal commit prior to the weekend.
Less than three days later, two of these recruits have already committed to the program — with Troy Reeder of Wilmington, Del., becoming the latest Tuesday morning.
The 6-foot-3, 232-pound linebacker of Salesianum High School is rated as a three-star prospect by Scout.com, ranked the No. 13 middle linebacker in his recruiting class. Reeder’s high school coach, William DiNardo, said Penn State should expect a versatile defender who has experience playing multiple positions.
Reeder also held offers from Maryland, Boston College, Miami, Pittsburgh and Virginia, and DiNardo said he expected this list to spread across most BCS conferences by the spring.
The latest commit joins Nick Scott (Fairfax, Va.) — who also attended junior day this weekend — and Mark Allen (Hyattsville, Md.) as the third member of the 2014 class.
Although Reeder has played other defensive positions, DiNardo said he expects him to primarily pursue the middle linebacker position.
“He can cover, he can run,” DiNardo said of Reeder, who runs a 4.5 second 40-yard dash. “He can do all kinds of things that a linebacker should do. I think his future both for us and for [Penn State] is going to be as an inside linebacker.”
Scott Kennedy, director of scouting for Scout.com, said Reeder has excellent size and his athleticism allows him to get off blocks with ease.
It’s Reeder’s size and football intelligence — considering the defender has also played quarterback on the other side of the ball — that leads Kennedy to believe he could succeed at multiple positions at the next level.
“He sure has the build of an outside guy, but he’s played some quarterback. It’s nice having those smarts in the middle of the field,” Kennedy said.
As for the Delaware native’s decision to join coach Bill O’Brien’s program, DiNardo said Reeder saw everything he needed to see during his visit, both “academically and athletically,” to make the call without further adieu.
Penn State is also expected to gain a top-notch player off the field, as DiNardo said Reeder equally excels in the classroom at Salesianum, a Catholic school in Delaware.
“He’s a great student, almost a 4.0 average,” DiNardo said. “He’s just a great guy who works extremely hard in the offseason. He comes from a great family, and he’s just an All-American boy.”
The high school coach added that the topic of the sanctions did not play a major role in Reeder’s decision, citing that his love for the school and program superseded any type of drawback the restrictions may continue to have on the program.
“He’s a kid that’s extremely cerebral. He’s very smart. He’s not interested in the past. He’s interested in the future.”