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Last updated: February 24. 2014 7:53PM - 2772 Views
By - dlevarse@civitasmedia.com



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For Penn State and James Franklin, today was about more than just a catchphrase.
 
Sure, you'll see and hear a lot of Franklin's now ubiquitous “Dominate the State” today. That's after two more Pennsylania recruits — Archbishop Wood linebacker Jake Cooper and Great Valley defensive end Ryan Buchholz — pledged to the Nittany Lions, according to multiple recruiting services.
 
That gives the Lions six verbal commitments for the 2015 recruiting class and four from the home state.
 
More important than Cooper and Buchholz's hometowns, however, are their positions and their resumes. As last season showed, it's going to take some time for the Lions to rebuild their defense in the wake of the sanctions.
 
With the caveat that we're still *very* early in the cycle for rating players, both players opened the 2015 recruiting season as the top players in the state at their respective possessions in the 247 Composite rankings.
 
Cooper in particular made a splash as a junior. He and fellow Penn State recruit Ryan Bates — who committed to the Lions last weekend — were dominant for Wood in their run to the 3A state championship in the fall.
 
In fact, Wood has reached the state championship each of the last three seasons. Cooper, who also plays tight end and is an accomplished wrestler as well. With that background and frame (6-foot-2, 220 pounds), Cooper reminds a bit of the departing Glenn Carson, who ended up starting three years at middle linebacker for the Lions.
 
A nice side effect to landing so many in-state players in the first month of the new cycle is that they can be put to work on the recruiting trail. In interviews Monday with 247Sports, Rivals and Scout, Cooper and Buchholz both talked about selling the program to other recruits.
 
One of those prospects would be Andre Robinson, the most heralded running back at powerhouse Bishop McDevitt since LeSean McCoy last played there in 2005.
 
Robinson was on campus at Penn State on Monday along with Buchholz and Cooper, with Robinson posting a photo he took with Franklin during the trip on his Twitter account.
 
Along with Robinson, Penn State has scholarship offers out to most of the top talents in the Keystone state including OT Sterling Jenkins and DB Jordan Whitehead from the Pittsburgh area and DB John Reid and ATH Josh Adams from Philadelphia.
 
Below is Penn State's updated recruiting map. Click on “Offered by PSU” to see a partial list of Franklin's targets from now until next February. The map can be expanded by clicking on the icon in the upper right corner. All ratings and rankings reflect the 247 Composite.
 
—derek
 


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