For the second time in less than a week, the Penn State football team has received a verbal commitment from one of the top defensive end prospects in the nation.
The Staten Island, N.Y. Advance reported early Monday morning on its web site that Dominique Easley, ranked the 41st senior in the country by ESPNU and the No. 1 prospect in the state of New York, made a pledge to the Nittany Lions Saturday while on an official visit to Penn State.
"I always liked Penn State," Easley told the Advance. "I didn't think I was going to commit, but being out there and talking to everybody made me feel like this was the place."
A 6-foot-3, 258-pounder who can also play inside on the defensive line, Easley had 18 scholarship offers. He was rumored to be close to committing to Florida during a visit to a summer camp, but that fell through, and the Lions took the lead spot in his recruitment soon after.
Easley was also being recruited by Boston College, Miami, Oregon, Rutgers, Tennessee, Michigan, Syracuse and Georgia, among others.
Easley had 55 tackles and 10 sacks for Curtis High School in 2008 and already had 25 tackles and five sacks in three games this season. Curtis is 23-2 since Easley made his varsity debut.
Last week, Michigan defensive end C.J. Olaniyan committed to the Nittany Lions, and York's Kyle Baublitz and Lancaster defensive end/linebacker Dakota Royer did so in June and late July, respectively. Olaniyan, Royer and Easley are all considered to be outstanding pass rushers.
Penn State now has 18 verbal commitments for a 2010 recruiting class expected to eventually have 20-21 members.
-- Philip Cmor