Noah Spence Recruiting: Penn State No Longer The Favorite?

COLUMBUS, OH - NOVEMBER 19: Interim head coach Tom Bradley of the Penn State Nittany Lions heads back to the bench after talking with his players during a time out in their game against the Ohio State Buckeyes on November 19, 2011 at Ohio Stadium in Columbus, Ohio. Penn State defeated Ohio State 20-14. (Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images)

Penn State was once considered the favorite for five star DE Noah Spence. That no longer appears to be the case

Noah Spence, the defensive end from Bishop McDevitt in Harrisburg who is rated #4 in the country by ESPN, seemed to be headed to Penn State just a few short months ago. But now, given the turmoil in Happy Valley, the Nittany Lions are no longer in the lead for his services. ESPN is reporting that Spence has narrowed his list to five schools, one of which is still Penn State, but there is no leader.

His father says that uncertainty with the coaching staff has given them second thoughts.

"Basically, it's a wait and see process with Penn State with so much up in the air," said Greg Spence, Noah's dad. "There's so much uncertainty with the coaching staff."

"We expect to get hard news about the football coaching staff," he said. "In regards to the charges, the allegations and things of that nature, sometimes those things take two or three years. That's a lot of negativity. ... We realize that and we'll take that into account."

What must worry Penn State fans is whether Spence, who could be destined for stardom, is one of many recruits re-thinking their interest in Penn State in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky scandal. Plus, as as long as the coaching search continues while the likes of Urban Meyer is our recruiting against them for Ohio State. Speaking of, Spence has an official visit scheduled to the Buckeyes after Meyer called him personally.

“That sends a tremendous statement,” Greg Spence said of the prompt conversation with Meyer on Tuesday evening. “Noah was really excited by it. As his father, I was excited to hear from coach Urban Meyer, and honored. He expressed that at the rush end, Noah would be a strong candidate to fill their need.”

It's bad enough for Nittany Lions fans to lose Joe Pa, but to see five star recruits from their own backyard going to Ohio State? That's a bitter pill.

For more Penn State recruiting updates check out our recruiting storystream.

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