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Dakota Royer

May 5, 2009 - Philip Cmor

A few of the coaches working Saturday's Nike Training Camp at Penn State that knew I cover the Nittany Lion football recruiting beat tried to point me in the direction of Manheim Central defensive end/linebacker Dakota Royer, giving me the impression something could be up with him. Along with State College wideout Alex Kenney, Royer is usually considered the most-likely to be the "next-guy-to-commit" for Penn State, and he was sitting next to Silas Redd, the Lions' recently-committed running back, during the post-camp awards announcements.

In the chaos and media free-for-all that is the end of camp, though, Royer was one of the prospects that slipped by me. Fortunately, I was able to reach Royer's family by phone, and his mother returned my call.

To make a long story short, Royer hasn't committed to Penn State yet. Mrs. Royer acknowledged Penn State has been Dakota's favorite school growing up, but they are "really trying to be open-minded" about anyone recruiting him. That's a lot of schools -- 21 written offers and two more verbal -- but she said they are trying to narrow the list to 10 in the effort of making a commitment before the beginning of Dakota's senior season.

That could be difficult. Prospects can't make official visits before Sept. 1 of their senior year. The Royers still want to make a trip west to see UCLA and Stanford, and they'd also like to visit Virginia Tech and North Carolina. They made a Midwest swing earlier this year, spending a day each at Notre Dame, Illinois and Michigan State. Dakota even got to sit in on some classes.

Royer is a 6-foot-3, 215-pound edge-rushing specialist. He has a very quick first step and around 20 sacks over his sophomore and junior seasons of high school.

I asked Mrs. Royer at what position most colleges are pursuing her son, and I was told either linebacker or as a hybrid LB/D-End. Penn State is looking at him as a linebacker that it could move onto the line in passing situations.


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