In what is Patrick Chambers’ second full recruiting class, the Penn State head coach has brought in four recruits who have all signed their letter of intent to play at Penn State. Though we have covered each extensively throughout the recruiting process, Lions247 gives you a player-by-player breakdown of the 2013 class.
Thorpe verballed to Penn State over a year ago.
Point Guard: Geno Thorpe
247Sports Rating: An 88 rating, making him a three-star prospect, ranked No. 163 overall nationally, No. 41 at his position, No. 4 in the state of Pennsylvania.
Recruiting Rewind: Chambers was able to get Thorpe to visit last fall and blew him away with his energy and attitude. Thorpe was the first of the four to take the plunge, giving Penn State a verbal pledge more than a year ago on his birthday. The 6-foot-3, 177-pound guard chose Penn State after being considered a Wisconsin lean for quite some time, in addition to offers from Pittsburgh, Kansas State and Rutgers.
What He Brings: Classified as a point guard, Thorpe can definitely run the point, but is considered to be more of a slashing guard - which is why Graham Woodward was ultimately signed. He’s a very good athlete who didn’t really get to show his stuff this summer on a national stage - despite a good showing at the Pangos Camp - due to an ankle injury.
Chambers’ Words: "He is extremely athletic. He's got blood lines in the Penn State family already, which is tremendous. He runs up and down the floor; is a really great finisher. He excels in the open floor; is able to defend anybody one through three. He has a great mid-range jumper and has to continue to work on his three. We are going to play him at the point; terrific combo guard."
Point Guard: Graham Woodward
247Sports Rating: An 81 rating, making him a three-star prospect, unranked nationally, No. 59 at his position, No. 2 in the state of Minnesota.
Recruiting Rewind: The slight point guard was watched all summer by Penn State, but didn’t receive his offer until September. After making an official visit, Woodward finished out the class, committing to Penn State over Gonzaga, Drake and Washington State.
Woodward is a pass-first point guard who will be at the helm of Penn State's offense.
What He Brings: Woodward is more of a true pass-first point guard who quarterbacks the offense and sets up his teammates. The 6-foot, 160-pounder is a fierce competitor who has the quicks to get by most defenders on the offensive end. Growing up in Big Ten country, Woodward will come to Penn State with a chip on his shoulder and is a tough player on both ends of the court.
Chambers’ Words: "I'm fired up about Graham Woodward. A lot of these Minnesota kids, they are tough. They've got this Minnesota swagger, which I love. Graham is a floor general; he's a heady leader. He's going to deliver the ball when you want to. He's tough; he's nasty; he's fearless; it's exactly what we need as Tim Frazier departs and we welcome Graham right in. I think it's going to be a seamless transition."
Small Forward: Payton Banks
247Sports Rating: An 88 rating, making him a three-star prospect, ranked No. 167 overall nationally, No. 30 at his position and No. 15 in the state of California.
Recruiting Rewind: We caught up with Banks back in April when he was considering offers from USC, Arizona State, Colorado, Washington and Washington State, but each of those schools backed off after Banks had an up-and-down AAU season. Penn State offered during the spring and stayed on him. He eventually made an official visit in early September and committed following his visit.
What He Bring: If Banks can find his form that landed him on the California CIF Division 1A First Team and helped Orange Luthern win back-to-back state titles, the 6-foot-6 swingman can be an impact player for the Nittany Lions. At 220 pounds, Banks has a college-ready body, with the ups and ball skills to make a difference - reasons people around the program are excited about him.
Chambers’ Words:“He is 6-6, big, thick, athletic, high IQ, can play multiple positions. He literally can play one through four. He's got a great handle; terrific mid-range jumper; he'll dunk on you if he has to; he will post you up. Versatility is what I would say for Payton Banks."
Center: Julian Moore
Moore brings size and athleticism to the Nittany Lions.
247Sports Rating: An 85 overall, making him a three-star prospect, ranked No. 211 overall nationally, No. 15 at his position, and No. 6 in the state of Pennsylvania.
Recruiting Rewind: The Pennsylvania native attended Penn State’s Advanced Skills camp this past summer, and after a strong showing at the Reebok Breakout Camp a few weeks later nabbed an offer. With other offers from LaSalle, Boston U, Bucknell and Delaware, among others, Moore committed less than a week after the NCAA handed down their sanctions against the athletic department.
What He Brings: Projected as a 6-foot-7 wing in the summer of 2011 before he shot up three inches over the past year and a half, so the senior is still getting used to his 6-foot-10, 215-pound frame. Moore isn’t just fast for a big man, he’s legitimately got speed to get up and down the court, which is a perfect fit for Chambers’ offense.
Chambers’ Words:"He's a high energy guy. He was 6-7 a year-and-a-half ago, now he is 6-10 and a quarter; jumps out of the building; shot blocker; great hands; great free throw shooter. He can really play a ball screen; rim-to-rim one of the fastest big men we've seen in the last two years. I'm excited about Julian's potential."
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