Recruit Report: PSU recruits take wait-see approach

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J.P. Holtz is in a holding pattern.

Holtz is a standout football player (tight end/linebacker) at Shaler Area High School who made a verbal commitment to Penn State this summer. Earlier this week, after news broke of the child sex abuse scandal involving former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky, Holtz said he was still 100 percent committed to Penn State.

But after Joe Paterno was fired Wednesday night, Holtz said he will play the waiting game.

"I'm just going to wait and see what happens now," Holtz said.

Holtz was recruited by assistant coach Tom Bradley, who has been named interim head coach. Holtz spoke with Bradley Monday night, as did South Allegheny tight end Jesse James, Penn State's other WPIAL recruit from the class of 2012.

"He pretty much told me to just keep doing what I'm doing," James said. "He told me to keep working hard and let the legal system work."

Earlier this week, James said he was still planning on graduating early from South Allegheny and enrolling at Penn State for the second semester.

"I'm just getting ready to go up there in January, getting my body ready to go through spring practices and be ready to play next season," James said.

But that was before Paterno was fired. Without knowing who the coach will be next season, James' plans would seemingly be on hold also.

Before the news of the Sandusky case broke, Penn State was having a fairly good recruiting year. The Nittany Lions had 16 recruits and the class was ranked No. 19 in the country. It will be interesting to see how this whole ordeal hurts Penn State's recruiting in the future.

Other recruits are looking at things just like Holtz, taking a wait-and-see approach. But you can also bet some of the recruits would like Bradley to be the permanent coach.

The Penn State situation might have already cost the team a shot at one top-notch recruit. Noah Spence of Bishop McDevitt High School in Harrisburg is ranked among the top 20 players in the country. Penn State was one of the schools he was considering, but Spence said on his "Twitter" page Monday, "Um psu might be a no no for me ewwww."

Holtz for basketball

Holtz has been on Shaler's varsity basketball team since his freshman year, but was thinking of not playing this season. Holtz said he will play basketball after all and plans to start practicing with the team next week.


Mike White: mwhite@post-gazette.com


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