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December 20, 2005Lebanon (Pa.) defensive tackle Jared Odrick is easily the biggest commitment for the Nittany Lions so far this recruiting season. The 6-foot-5, 303-pounder is an important addition for Penn State not only because he is ranked as the No. 29 player in the country, but also because it shows that Penn State still has the power to retain top recruits in the Keystone State. Add in the fact that Odrick's overall skill set makes him a can't-miss player and you have a huge get for Joe Paterno.
With competition from Florida, Georgia and Virginia Tech, Odrick's commitment proves that a 10-1 season and BCS bid along with the willingness for Paterno to play freshmen like Derrick Williams and Justin King cemented their standing as the top choice for local recruits.
Odrick could be a key cog in the middle for what looks to be a pretty quick future defense for the Nittany Lions. Alongside Odrick is fellow defensive tackles Tom McEowen, Abe Koroma and Ollie Ogbu with Aaron Maybin and Eric Latimore at the end spots. The defensive line could potentially get more potent with a possible commitment by Rivals100 defensive end Maurice Evans in the next few weeks. Penn State is also in great shape with Maryland stud Phillip Taylor. Add to that the recent additions of two top linebackers, Bani Gbadyu and Navorro Bowman and the Nittany Lions are looking at a very impressive front seven.
But the key to Odrick's game is that he could be a better offensive tackle than a defensive tackle, which allows PSU to take a long look at him on defense with the safety net of moving him to offense if it doesn't work out. With amazing lateral quickness for a big man and good athleticism, Odrick gives Penn State versatility and flexibility.
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