The Penn State football program picked up its third verbal commitment in less than a week on Wednesday.

Linebacker Jason Cabinda changed his mind and backed away from his previous commitment to Syracuse and has now decided to play for the Nittany Lions instead.

Cabinda is rated a three-star recruit on a five-star scale by, while rates him a two-star recruit.

Cabinda, a 6-foot, 1-inch 215-pounder , attends Hunterdon Central High School in Flemington, N.J. He had originally committed to Syracuse on July 1.

In addition to Syracuse and Penn State, Cabinda also reportedly had offers from Boston College, UConn, Maryland and Temple, among others.

Cabinda is the second player this week to abandon a commitment to another school to choose Penn State. The other was three-star Massachusetts running back Johnathan Thomas, who backed away from his verbal commitment to Maryland and Susquehannock High School graduate Randy Edsall to play for the Lions.

Penn State now has 15 verbal commitments for its 2014 recruiting class.

After going 3½ months without getting a commitment, the Lions have received three in the last week, starting with three-star New Jersey tight end Mike Gesiciki on Thursday.

Penn State's recruiting picked up after two recent incidents.


First, on Sept. 24, the NCAA announced that it was easing scholarship sanctions on the school that were imposed after the Jerry Sandusky scandal. The Lions now have 20 scholarships to give in 2014 and will have its full scholarship allotment -- 25 annually, 85 total -- starting in 2016. According to, three of Penn State's 2014 recruits -- Michael O'Connor, De'Andre Thompkins and Antoine White -- are set to enroll in January. Their scholarships will count toward the Lions' 2013 recruiting class, giving PSU the ability to add as many as eight more players in the 2014 class.

Then, on Oct. 12, Penn State won a dramatic 43-40, four-overtime victory over previously unbeaten Michigan in front of a raucous Whiteout crowd of 108,000 at Beaver Stadium. That game was televised nationally and a number of high-profile recruits watched that game from the sidelines.

Penn State's 2014 recruiting class is currently ranked No. 27 by and No. 28 by