The uncertainty over the identity of Penn State's new head football coach cost the Nittany Lions a major recruit Monday when defensive tackle Tommy Schutt, the top player in the Lions' freshman class for 2012, switched his commitment to Ohio State, according to several websites.
The 6-foot-3, 290-pound Schutt, of Glen Ellyn, Ill., became the first player to officially commit to Ohio State since Urban Meyer took over as head coach on Nov. 28. Schutt had orally committed to Penn State on Aug. 10.
Schutt, who is ranked 42d overall by Scout.com and 52d by Rivals.com, went on an official visit to Ohio State last weekend and reportedly told Meyer before leaving Columbus that he had changed his mind in favor of the Buckeyes.
For Penn State, the decommitment of Schutt marked the fourth player they have lost since October, and the third since former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky was charged Nov. 5 in a child sex-abuse scandal that eventually cost head coach Joe Paterno his job.
Offensive lineman Joey O'Connor of Windsor, Colo., and tight end J.P. Holtz of Pittsburgh pulled out of their commitments since the scandal broke. Offensive lineman J.J. Denman of Pennsbury High School decommitted on Oct. 16 in favor of Wisconsin.
The Lions now are down to 13 oral commitments for the freshman class of 2012, and that number could be reduced further. Linebacker Camren Williams of West Roxbury, Mass., who is the nation's No. 7 middle linebacker prospect on Rivals.com, reportedly is visiting Ohio State this week.