Penn State gets oral commitment from New Jersey linebacker

Penn State head coach Bill O'Brien. (Nabil K. Mark/Centre Daily Times/AP)

Penn State picked up its third oral commitment from a high school football player in less than a week, receiving word from linebacker Jason Cabinda of Flemington, N.J., that he wanted to play college football with the Nittany Lions, according to reports Wednesday on recruiting web sites.

Cabinda joined running back Johnathan Thomas of Danvers, Mass., as recruits who committed elsewhere and then changed to Penn State. Thomas, who committed on Sunday night, had initially pledged to Maryland while Cabinda switched from Syracuse.

The 6-foot-1, 220-pound Cabinda, who plays at Hunterdon Central High School, is rated three stars by and two stars by He is the 15th high school player to commit to Penn State and the second linebacker.

Tight end Mike Gesicki of Manahawkin, N.J., gave an oral commitment last Thursday to the Nittany Lions, choosing them over Ohio State. Like Cabinda and Thomas, Gesicki was at Beaver Stadium to watch Penn State’s four-overtime win over Michigan on Oct. 12.

The latest flurry has the Nittany Lions ranked anywhere from 25th to 28th as a team by four recruiting web sites.

--Joe Juliano