Penn State 2014 verbal commit De’Andre Thompkins will enroll as a freshman in January in addition to recruiting classmates Michael O’Connor and Antoine White.
Each of the recruits have made a verbal pledge to sign for the Nittany Lions on National Signing Day in February, but their scholarships will count toward the 2013 enrollment class.
Thompkins, a wide receiver out of Swansboro (N.C.) High School, confirmed Sunday that he’d be enrolling at Penn State in January. The decision allows Penn State to now sign 23 total 2014 prospects, with Thompkins, quarterback O’Connor and defensive tackle White as the only commits set to enroll early.
Because the NCAA modified Penn State’s scholarship restrictions originally put in place as sanctions, coach Bill O’Brien and his staff will be allowed to sign 25 players with each recruiting class beginning in 2015.
Thompkins, a 5-foot-11, 172-pound wideout, committed to Penn State in April and passed on offers from Clemson, Notre Dame and Tennessee. He’s a four-star athlete according to Rivals.com and is a talented receiver and kick returner.
In April following his verbal commitment, Thompkins told the Collegian that one of the top three things he looked for in a school was the chance to get on the field as soon as possible and contribute early.
“Don’t get me wrong, I love competition,” he said. “I want guys that are going to push me and make me work for my job. I love competition, but you don’t want a whole bunch of wide receivers in front of you. I want to step on the field.”
The Nittany Lions will lose wide receiver Brandon Felder to graduation and stud receiver Allen Robinson plans to graduate in June and could declare early for the NFL draft.
Anna Orso can be reached at email@example.com or (814) 865-1828. Follow her on Twitter at @anna_orso.