The weather was cold, but football recruiting has heated up at Penn State this weekend.
The Nittany Lions gained three verbal commitments on what has been their biggest official visit weekend of the offseason. Woodbury, N.J. receiver Shawney Kersey and Buffalo lineman John Urschel have announced their intentions to become part of Penn State's 2009 recruiting class during official visits to University Park.
In addition, Paul Jones, one of the top junior quarterback prospects in the country, has also pulled the trigger. He becomes the second Lion commitment for 2010.
The Gloucester County (N.J.) Times is reporting today that Woodbury High School wide receiver Shawney Kersey has decided to back out of his verbal commitment to Rutgers and switch to Penn State.
Kersey informed the newspaper on Friday.
Kersey, a 6-foot-2, 180-pounder with 10.8 speed in the 100-meter dash and a 30-inch vertical leap, was considered one of the top receiver prospects in the northeast, but injuries plagued him in his senior year. As a junior, Kersey averaged almost 20 yards per reception and scored three times on catches, twice on runs and twice on returns. He also had three interceptions as a defensive back.
He was closely connected to Penn State from early on, but the school and Kersey seemed to part ways over the summer. Academic issues -- Kersey, reportedly, had yet to take his college boards -- were speculated to be at the heart of Penn State backing off.
However, the Lions, looking for a lot of receivers in this recruiting class, jumped back into things with Kersey around the time his friend, Paulsboro, N.J. safety Gerald Hodges, switched his commitment from Rutgers to the Nittany Lions in December.
The 6-4, 275-pound Urschel was a virtual unknown in recruiting circles entering the season before having a breakout senior year. In December, Urschel was the recipient of the Trench Trophy, which is given to the best high school lineman in western New York.
According to his coach, Urschel had offers from Stanford, Boston College, Syracuse and Buffalo and was beginning to get attention from Miami.
Jones, from Sto-Rox, joins Canon-McMillan linebacker Mike Hull in getting the Lions off to an impressive jump on next year's recruiting.
A first-team Associated Press Class AA all-state selection, Jones was one of just four underclassmen named to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Fabulous 22 in 2008.
Jones (6-3, 225) is coming off a season in which he completed 115 of 186 passes for 2,020 yards and 24 touchdowns, and he is 228-for-398 for 3,870 yards in the last two years. He's also considered a dangerous runner.
Pitt, North Carolina State, Iowa, Stanford and Duke were among the other schools to already have offered Jones, and Michigan was known to have interest.
Kersey and Urschel's commitments are the 24th and 25th for the Lions, who are expected to bring in around 28 recruits in this class; several of those have already enrolled and a couple of others might enroll next January to comply with the NCAA's 25-scholarship-per-year limit.
The Lions were also entertaining several other uncommitted prospects this weekend, including All-American linebacker Jelani Jenkins of Maryland and all-state Delaware receiver Justin Brown.