Cam’Ron Kelly, a coveted 2019 recruit capable of contributing at multiple positions with a college program, committed to Virginia Tech on Thursday morning. The Oscar Smith (Chesapeake, Va.) High School standout listed Penn State among his top options leading up to this announcement.
Considered a 4-star prospect, top-200 overall talent and the No. 13 athlete in 247Sports composite rankings, Kelly kept recruiting industry analysts guessing down the stretch of his coast-to-coast recruitment. Penn State was viewed as the front-runner following his official visit to Happy Valley (April 20-22), while Clemson and Virginia also took turns as the perceived program with momentum.
Interestingly, Virginia Tech was not on the top-8 list Kelly revealed April 24. That collection of schools consisted of Auburn, Clemson, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Penn State, Washington State and Virginia.
Ultimately, the Hokies secured a key in-state target after recently witnessing top Virginia talents Hakeem Beamon (defensive end), Devyn Ford (running back) and Brandon Smith (linebacker) commit to the Nittany Lions within the last few weeks. Kelly is listed fifth overall among Virginia recruits in the 2019 class, and is widely projected to play in the defensive secondary during the next phase of his football career.
Cam’Ron Kelly decision comes after Penn State’s defensive backfield gets crowded
Though late-April arrived with Penn State anticipated to be in the driver’s seat, plenty has changed since Kelly’s trip to campus. A recent spree of pledges tripled the Nittany Lions class, and it particularly impacted dynamics at defensive back.
Penn State added three players to the group between May 17 and May 21, and each are considered top-tier recruits. The Nittany Lions landed 4-star Connecticut standouts Tyler Rudolph and Marquis Wilson and top-ranked junior college safety Jaquan Brisker.
Throw in longtime cornerback commit Keaton Ellis and future members of Penn State’s defensive secondary compose nearly half of Penn State’s nine-player class. Clearly, there is now a numbers game in play, so difficult decisions will need to be made as the Nittany Lions navigate through the next six-plus months that lead to the early signing period.
S Lewis Cine is due in for an official visit
Lewis Cine, a top-5 safety prospect, is back on campus this weekend for his official visit. Prior to relocating from Massachusetts to the Dallas area last winter, he identified Penn State as his leader.
Several new suitors have emerged since then, and trips to Michigan and Texas await later this month. But it’s clear Penn State remains a priority for him. The sense here is the feeling is mutual among Nittany Lions coaches, and there will be a spot for Cine if he’s prepared to claim it.
DeMarcco Hellams is another prized safety prospect to keep on your radar. The DeMatha Catholic (Hyattsville, Md.) High School star attended the Blue-White Game in April. Alabama and Clemson are among other notable programs in the mix.
Trikweze Bridges, a 6-foot-3 safety from Lanett, Ala., placed Penn State in his top-5 list this week. Penn State extended an offer in late March and faces competition from Florida State, LSU, Oklahoma and Oregon.
Other names to know on Penn State’s defensive back offer board include John Dixon (Tampa, Fla.), Noa Pola-Gates (Gilbert, Ariz.) and Joey Porter Jr. (Wexford, Pa.).