Have Penn State football recruiting questions? Land of 10’s Tyler Donohue will answer a Recruiting Question of the Day every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. You can ask him your questions on Twitter or on Facebook. Find our previous questions and answers here.
Our latest Penn State Nittany Lions Recruiting Question of the Day comes from @107kUnrivaled on Twitter.
Who was the most impressive prospect at the opening regional at the Jets facility in your opinion?
— PSU🏈Fan Account (@107kUnrivaled) April 9, 2018
Among my favorite events to cover each year, The Opening’s Northeast regional camp at New York Jets headquarters in Florham, Park, N.J., occurred last Sunday. Aside from a great excuse to visit my home state, it’s always an opportunity to evaluate several top prospects.
There was no shortage of Penn State recruiting targets in attendance. Although this question doesn’t restrict the conversation to potential Nittany Lions players, there were a few who really stepped up on a big stage.
I’ve decided to split this into a two-part answer, addressing the top offensive performer Friday before shifting focus to defense for a Question of the Day next week.
Allow me to preface this first response by reflecting on an interaction from summer 2016. I was part of a collaborative effort to produce a commitment announcement video for Hun School (Princeton, N.J.) defensive tackle Fred Hansard, who chose the Florida Gators before eventually flipping to Penn State after his senior season.
“You need to know about the next linemen coming up here — Caedan Wallace,” Hansard said during one of our discussions. “He’s going to be legit.”
Nearly two years later, Wallace is one of college football’s most coveted recruits. He carries more than 30 scholarship offers and further emphasized his promise throughout competition on Sunday, earning an invitation to The Opening Finals this summer in Dallas.
“He just dominated camp,” said Ronny Torres, who oversees offensive linemen on The Opening’s national camp circuit. “I made the comment to some of our O-line coaches that it was probably one of the best, if not the top, performance we’ve seen all year. In terms of 1-on-1s, some of the movement drills we had, the guy is a really good athlete.”
Violent reps from Caedan Wallace against Jason Blisett. pic.twitter.com/dydvDiQHJm
— Todderick Hunt (@TodderickHunt) April 8, 2018
Wallace checked in at 6-foot-5, 313 pounds, and he’s worked to shed unnecessary weight this offseason. The results showed, as Wallace finished the 40-yard dash in 5.15 seconds, which Torres described as “pretty insane at that size.”
Placed on Penn State’s 2019 target board back in February 2017, he is a realistic candidate to land in the Nittany Lions’ recruiting class. However, widespread contention for his commitment should only increase after this latest display.
“He lives up to the top billing and we’re fired up to have him out at The Opening Finals,” Torres said. “I think he’ll be one of those guys who dominates from beginning to end there, too.”
Wallace most recently visited Penn State in March and estimates he’s traveled to campus on at least eight occasions. No other program has hosted him more during this process.
“Just going so many times allows me to see the various aspects,” Wallace said. “If you’re going up for a junior day, or a practice, or a spring game, or a game during the season, they’re all different experiences. And it’s always a great experience.”
He will be back in Happy Valley next weekend for the Blue-White Game. Wallace attended the event last April alongside Hansard, who remains a resource for information as a dizzying recruitment reaches its final stretch.
“I talk to Fred a lot and he has great insight,” Wallace said. “He’s gone through making that jump from high school to college and the things he’s learned can help prepare me. I also speak with some of the early enrollees like [cornerback] Trent Gordon and [tight end] Zack Kuntz.”
When it comes to a commitment timeline, he remains undecided about a specific date but explained an announcement should come “definitely before the season,” and Wallace is leaning toward “sometime in late spring or early summer.”
Aside from another trip to Penn State, his only planned travel will take him to Big 12 territory. Wallace will use an official visit at Oklahoma this weekend (April 13-15), and it’s his first experience in Norman. At this stage, after past journeys to ACC and SEC schools, he’s content without constructing a vast spring travel itinerary.
This would appear to place Penn State in an enviable position.
Though Wallace is widely considered an elite guard prospect, his dialogue with the Nittany Lions has included talks about potential reps at tackle. He views versatility as a key aspect of an athletic arsenal that has coaches lining up to land him.
“Having the footwork and the speed to play both tackle and guard, it’s going to put college programs in position to choose where they want me based on what they need,” Wallace said.
“Seeing the way he moved during those drills, I definitely think he can pretty much play wherever on the line,” Torres said. “If he’s asked to play it, and coached up, there’s certainly a potential future at tackle. At guard alone, Caedan has some serious skills already. I think he’s a guy who can contribute pretty early in college.”
Wallace’s matchups vs. elite New Jersey defensive lineman and fellow Nittany Lions target Antonio Alfano were among the highlights from the action Sunday. Alfano is who we will focus on next week, so stay tuned for that breakdown.
“It was a great experience going against Antonio,” Wallace said. “I see us both as really good players, so that opportunity just sharpens the way I play. We both talked about it after the fact, and I think he feels the same way.”
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