Thursday, December 25, 2014

Charles London talks Penn State recruiting

Nobody knows more about the Nittany Lions' recruiting process than Charles London, who also serves as the team's recruiting coordinator.

Charles London talks Penn State recruiting

Penn State assistant coaches spend two to three hours every night working on recruiting. After practice, they watch tape. In the middle of the week -- usually Tuesday through Thursday -- the coaches make calls, write letters, watch film and evaluate.

"Each guy here on the staff is a veteran recruiter, so every body's got their own kind of recruiting style," running backs coach Charles London said.

Nobody knows more about the Nittany Lions' recruiting process than London, who also serves as the team's recruiting coordinator. 

On a conference call on Thursday, London -- who joined Penn State with a plethora of college and NFL experience, including a role as an offensive assistant for the Tennessee Titans last season - delved into all issues pertaining Penn State recruiting.

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London said the sanctions haven't been "a problem so far." 

"Our goals are not going to change, our objectives are not going to change," London said. "We're still going to go out and recruit the best players in our area and try to get them to come here to Penn State."

Over the bye week, London and other assistants hit the road. The reviews, he said, were positive. Players seemed to be receptive to the kind of offensive and defensive style that Bill O'Brien has implemented.

What about quantity? As a part of the NCAA sanctions, Penn State will only be able to offer 15 scholarships per year for the next four years. That has affected the way Penn State has recruited -- but London insists it hasn't been that drastic.

"Now, do we have to be, maybe cross our Ts and dot our Is a little bit more with lesser numbers? Of course," London said. "A lot of times you'll have a recruiting class, you'll sign 25 kids and maybe six or seven of those guys don't pan out for you. Well, we can't afford that luxury of signing a certain amount of guys and having a quarter of them or so not work out."

Something new for Penn State is the recruitment of junior college players, something Joe Paterno traditionally did not do. The Lions have made offers to Iowa Western quarterback Jake Waters and his roommate, running back Aaron Wimberly. Waters also is fielding offers from Kansas State and North Carolina State, among other schools. Wimberly is verbally committed to Iowa State.

"There's a lot of players who go to JUCO, not because of their grade situation, but just because maybe they weren't as highly recruited as they thought they were going to be coming out of high school or they wanted to be coming out of high school," London said "Some of those guys we just need to identify and pursue from there."

-Emily Kaplan

About this blog
Joe Juliano has been a staff writer for The Inquirer for 20 years, covering college sports, golf and the Penn Relays.

Joining Joe this season will be John Stuetz, an intern for The Inquirer and senior at Penn State majoring in print journalism and marketing. This is John's third season covering the Penn State beat. He previously covered the Nittany Lions for the Daily Collegian, the university's student newspaper. A native of Glenside, Montgomery County, John graduated from Cheltenham High School.

For Joe, this will be his fifth season on the paper's Penn State beat. He previously covered the Nittany Lions for United Press International from 1976 to 1984.

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Joe Juliano Inquirer Staff Writer
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