Youngstown (Ohio) Cardinal Mooney athlete Brandon Beachum was one of the top remaining uncommitted prospects in Ohio, but he jumped off of that list when he announced that he had made a verbal commitment on Sunday.
Beachum decided to join Cardinal Mooney teammate and Penn State verbal commitment Michael Zordich in the Nittany Lions' recruiting class of 2008. Beachum becomes the fifth member of the class, and the first offensive skill position recruit that has given a pledge to the Nittany Lions.
He joins Zordich, Matt Stankiewitch, Mike Yancich and Michael Mauti as Penn State's five verbal commitments.
He picked Penn State over offers from Wisconsin, Nebraska and Florida State. He also held offers from LSU, Oklahoma, West Virginia and Illinois, among others.
Beachum is ranked as the top player in the Buckeye State by OhioVarsity.com, and he is rated as the No. 4 player in the state by Rivals.com. He is the nation's fifth-best running back and the No. 50 player in the country, according to Rivals.com
He rushed for 1,500 yards as a junior, scoring 16 touchdowns in helping to lead Cardinal Mooney to a Division IV state championship. He also racked up 123 tackles and 12 sacks while playing defense.
In the state championship game, Beachum recorded 62 rushing yards and a touchdown, five tackles, a fumble recovery, and an interception that he returned 34 yards to set up another score.
Beachum reportedly received an offer from Penn State while attending one of the Nittany Lions' junior days in March. He returned to Happy Valley for the State College Nike Camp in May, where he impressed coaches and scouts alike.
Rivals.com's Mike Farrell had this to say about Beachum's performance.
"Beachum, from Youngstown (Ohio) Cardinal Mooney, worked out at running back at the event and it looks like his future position. Beachum was a natural in drills, flashed quick feet and was sure-handed throughout one-on-ones. He also took a few reps at linebacker, but at 6-foot-0, he's better suited for offense. Hale, who is as big as advertised, didn't go through drills but showed off his ability to turn and run in one-on-ones. He has defensive end size with linebacker speed."
Beachum returned to Penn State in June to participate in the Nittany Lions' senior-only camp, and he also got a closer look at the University Park Campus.
He then took an unofficial visit to Penn State on Friday, July 9 with his father, Lock Beachum. There he toured the academic aspect of the school and came away very impressed.
Beachum was recruited by the Nittany Lions by quarterbacks coach Jay Paterno.