STATE COLLEGE – The Penn State men’s basketball program picked up a verbal commitment when Camden (N.J.) High big man TaQuan Woodley gave his pledge to play for the Nittany Lions in 2021 on Monday night.
At 6-foot-7 and 235 pounds, the junior forward/center could be a boon to Penn State’s frontcourt. Woodley tweeted his announcement just before 9:30 p.m. on Monday.
“100 percent committed,” Woodley tweeted.
Woodley also holds offers from Rutgers, South Carolina and Temple.
“It’s a GREAT day to be a #NittanyLion!!!! #WeAre #ClimbWithUs,” Penn State coach Pat Chambers tweeted about an hour before, signaling an incoming commitment for his program.
Camden went 29-1 last season, including a 25-game win streak, and concluded a coronavirus-shortened season with a 70-42 win over Haddonfield. Woodley posted a stat line of nine points, seven rebounds, three blocks and three steals in the win.
NJ.com listed Woodley a first-team National Division selection in the Olympic Conference, as voted by the conference’s coaches.
Woodley’s verbal commitment is Penn State's first from the class of 2021.
“Woodley will bring the Nittany Lions one of the more rugged defensive/rebounding presences in his class to go with consistent finishing inside and underrated passing,” Pennsylvania high school basketball scout Ari Rosenfeld tweeted.
Kelly announces transfer
While Penn State has added a number of verbal commits for 2021, it lost the services of offensive lineman Hunter Kelly on Monday.
Kelly announced via Twitter he will conclude his college career at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. The 6-2, 309-pound Kelly redshirted in 2016. While he didn’t play during the 2017 and 2018 seasons, he twice garnered accolades as an All-Big Ten academic selection.
Kelly made his college debut last season, and logged playing time against Idaho and Maryland.
Charlotte went 7-6 last season and played in the Bahamas Bowl, a first for the seven-year FBS program. The 49ers ended the regular season with on a five-game win streak and went 5-3 in Conference-USA games.
Kelly becomes Penn State’s fourth transfer to find a landing spot. He joins wide receivers Justin Shorter (Florida) and Mac Hippenhammer (Miami, Ohio), and defensive end Daniel Joseph (North Carolina State). Running back Ricky Slade in January entered his name into the NCAA’s transfer portal but hasn’t yet announced his destination.
Hults honored by Big Ten
Nittany Lions’ defenseman Cole Hults was named the Big Ten’s 2019-20 Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year by the league’s coaches and select members of the press on Monday.
Hults is the first Penn State hockey player to earn the honor. In April, he signed a two-year, entry-level deal with the Los Angeles Kings. He tallied a Penn State-record 30 points (22 assists and eight goals) for defensemen, which led the Big Ten.
Penn State forward Nate Sucese earned honors as a first-team All-Big Ten selection. Sucese recorded 35 points (25 assists and 10 goals) in 32 games last season. In March, Sucese signed a one-year, entry-level deal with the Arizona Coyotes.
Forward Evan Barratt appeared as a second-team All-Big Ten selection. Forward Alex Limoges and goalkeeper Peyton Jones claimed honorable mention recognition. Forward Aarne Talvitie claimed the Big Ten’s Sportsmanship Award for the Nittany Lions.