Bill O'Brien's future at Penn State may be in doubt, but that hasn't stopped him from landing a four-star recruit for the Nittany Lions' 2014 recruiting class.
Thomas Holley, a 6-foot, 4-inch, 295-pound defensive lineman from Abraham Lincoln High School in Brooklyn, N.Y., has given a verbal commitment to PSU, according to reports from the major recruiting services.
Holley also had offers from some of the top programs in the nation, including Alabama, Baylor, Clemson, Florida, Florida State, Notre Dame, Ohio State and Southern Cal. Holley's final decision reportedly came down to Penn State or Florida.
Holley is rated a four-star recruit by both Scout.com and Rivals.com. He is rated the No. 3 defensive tackle prospect in the nation by Rivals.com and Scout.com has him rated the nation's No. 14 defensive tackle prospect. He is rated a top-100 recruit by all of the major recruiting services.
Most experts consider Holley the top prospect in Penn State's 18-member 2014 recruiting class. Holley came late to the sport of football. He is just in his second season of high school football. He was previously considered a big-time basketball prospect and was once called "the next Shaq," in a New York Daily News story.
Penn State's 2014 class is now ranked No. 25 by Scout.com and No. 23 by Rivals.com.
According to Rivals.com, PSU has also added a linebacker to its 2014 class - Donte Raymond from Rahway, N.J. Raymond is a 6-foot, 200-pounder who was not rated by either Scout.com or Rivals.com. He also had an offer from Delaware.
Penn State landed Holley and Raymond despite O'Brien's uncertain future. A CBSSports.com report said that O'Brien has been contacted about possible NFL head-coaching jobs with the Houston Texans and Minnesota Vikings. O'Brien's name has also been mentioned for the open job at the University of Texas.
To this point, O'Brien has not denied interest in those positions.
-- Reach Steve Heiser at firstname.lastname@example.org.