A blue-chip offensive lineman from suburban Philadelphia has become the eighth member of Penn State's 2012 football recruiting class.
J.J. Denman, a 6-foot-6, 305-pound tackle from Pennsbury High School in Fairless Hills, gave the Nittany Lions his verbal commitment Wednesday after making his third unofficial visit to Penn State over the weekend. It had been believed that the Lions were part of a three-horse race for his services along with Notre Dame and Wisconsin for the last couple of months.
Denman is rated as one of the top 250 prospects in the country by ESPN, Rivals.com, Scout.com and 247sports.com.
Denman joins Ohio's Anthony Stanko as offensive linemen in this Nittany Lion recruiting class, although some analysts feel defensive tackles Brian Gaia of Maryland, Jamil Pollard of New Jersey and Jarron Jones of New York could ultimately wind up on offense as well. Penn State is believed to be trying to bring in five offensive lineman or nine players who could play either on the offensive line or defensive tackle in this class.
The Lions appear to be most closely involved with Boyertown's Chris Muller, Fox Chapel's Adam Bisnowaty, South Carolina's Pat DeStefano, Tennessee's Blake Bars, Maryland's Greg Pyke and Colorado's Joey O'Connor as they look to fill the remaining spots on the offensive line. DeStefano has called a press conference on Monday where he is scheduled to announce his finalists, but some feel he will make a commitment to Clemson, although Penn State is believed to have made a strong impression on the 6-5, 270-pound guard.
- Philip Cmor