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Fast-rising DL David Ojabo lists Penn State as a favorite
Back in April, I documented a series of events that placed David Ojabo on the recruiting radar of coaching staffs across college football. The Blair Academy (Blairstown, N.J.) defensive lineman enjoyed a rapid rise this spring, and the start of summer has seemingly quickened the pace.
Ojabo, who played alongside Penn State signee Jayson Oweh at Blair, has visited nearly 10 universities in June. He traveled to Happy Valley on June 9, but more recently spent time exploring the facilities of Big Ten rivals Michigan and Ohio State.
His campus tour also has featured an official visit to Notre Dame, which he used last weekend.
These experiences provide expanded perspective for Ojabo, a native of Nigeria who grew up in Scotland and came to the U.S. with basketball aspirations. A chance for him to get his parents involved in the process has been pivotal, especially since their first football game was came last year.
There’s plenty to digest for a family still growing accustomed to the idea that football could play a central role in Ojabo’s future. Apparently, they’ve seen enough to begin trimming things down.
Ojabo, who carries nearly 40 scholarship offers through seven high school games, tweeted a list of 15 schools under consideration on Monday.
Penn State is one of five Big Ten teams in the mix, alongside Michigan, Nebraska, Ohio State and Rutgers. Other contenders include Clemson, Duke, Notre Dame, Texas A&M and a pair of Ivy League universities: Harvard and Penn.
It’s no surprise for Penn State to land on this list and the Nittany Lions should be a main competitor as his recruitment narrows. His relationship with the staff is solid, and Oweh provides him with a trusted opinion from within the program.
“I’ve became very familiar with Penn State because of Jayson, and knowing he will be there soon definitely increases my interest,” Ojabo said after receiving a Nittany Lions offer in April. “If Jayson sees something special there, I probably will see it, too.”
However, as his list of top choices exemplifies, his lack of regional ties creates an unpredictable recruitment.
“I need a place that I can call home and feel like family. It’s difficult enough that I’m already overseas, so I want to feel comfortable,” Ojabo said. “There’s no hometown for me here in America. I don’t have any loyalties to any state. There’s a lot of pressure on other recruits to stay at home, but I’m blessed with being international.”
The 6-foot-5, 235-pound prospect recorded 35 tackles, 6 sacks and 2 forced fumbles in 2017. He clocked a 4.75-second 40-yard dash at The Opening’s 2018 Northeast regional camp.
OL Jakai Moore, another top Virginia target, likes Lions
The 2018 Penn State target board for offensive linemen continues to evolve.
Last week, a pair of targets — Trevor Keegan and Saleem Wormley — named the Nittany Lions a top option. On Sunday, 4-star tackle Xavier Truss verbally committed to Georgia. On Monday, Jakai Moore confirmed reciprocated interest with Penn State.
The 6-6, 295-pound prospect, listed 15th nationally among guards 247Sports 2019 composite rankings, is focused on seven schools. His recruitment features Clemson, Miami, North Carolina, Ohio State, Penn State, South Carolina and Virginia Tech.
Moore has been to campus at Penn State multiple times since receiving a Nittany Lions offer in January. He attended the team’s spring game and carries a relationship with first-year assistant Tyler Bowen from his time on the Maryland staff.
Moore attends Patriot (Nokesville, Va.) High School. The Nittany Lions have landed three prospects out of Virginia so far in the cycle.
Penn State carries one offensive line commitment in its 2019 class. Caedan Wallace, a top-5 guard recruit from New Jersey, pledged to the program on April 21.
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