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Penn State and Alabama stand out for WR John Metchie before visits
The recruitment of 4-star wide receiver John Metchie reached a new level this offseason as an array of Power 5 football scholarship offers arrived. Penn State extended an offer last July and the program has held steady as a long-term contender despite a growing crowd of suitors.
This weekend, the Nittany Lions will become the first college team to welcome Metchie’s mother, Joyce, to campus. He will use an official visit to Penn State, making the trip from Ontario, Canada, alongside his mom and two older brothers.
“This is a big step,” Metchie told Land of 10 on Tuesday. “I’ve seen a lot of schools but my mom hasn’t seen any of them so far. It’s a big step to get her on campus and get her around coaches so I can see how she feels about it.”
Metchie, who is back in his hometown of Brampton for the summer, explained Penn State has separated itself from an expansive pack of college options. Alabama has done the same and he will use an official visit with family in Tuscaloosa next weekend.
When asked whether Penn State and Alabama have established an advantage, he didn’t hesitate to answer.
“I think so, especially because out of all the schools I have the greatest relationships with those two,” Metchie said.
Alabama presented him with an offer on April 2, so there isn’t as much recruiting longevity as what’s in place with Penn State. The presence of Crimson Tide receivers coach Josh Gattis — a Penn State assistant during the last four seasons — is a key factor that quickly helped Alabama make up ground.
“Coach Gattis and I just kind of click on things,” Metchie said.
First-year Nittany Lions receivers coach David Corley and the entire Penn State staff have another opportunity to make their case in the coming days. There is a chance this will be Metchie’s final trip to Happy Valley prior to a decision.
“I think the plan is to wait and take more official visits [in the fall] but I guess that’s depending on how these two visits go. You never know,” he said.
Metchie, the No. 42 receiver in the 247Sports composite 2019 rankings, mentioned Michigan, South Carolina and Texas as potential destinations if he elects to implement official visits beyond the upcoming Alabama trip. The weekend of June 23-24 is the final one in college football’s inaugural early official visit window, so any others wouldn’t occur until September.
It’s important to note the personal costs of unofficial visits, especially in the case of an international prospect such as Metchie. Travel expenses are handled by the university when an official visit is used.
Thus, this sets up as a crucial weekend in Penn State’s pursuit of the 6-foot, 195-pound playmaker. Alabama will get its shot one week later, and Metchie won’t rule out the possibility of a pledge following these experiences.
“It’s about the on-campus feeling when you get there — if you feel like it’s home with the impression it makes on you,” he said. “When me and my family have that feeling on a visit, I think that’s when I’ll know I might need to make a decision.”
Metchie has been a frequent visitor in Happy Valley, so this weekend is more about gaining insight from family members. He also has a strong connection to freshman linebacker Jesse Luketa, a fellow Ontario standout.
“Everything I hear from Jesse is great as far as his progress there,” Metchie said. “I’ve had a chance to hear what he thinks about the place. Obviously he loves it but like everyone else, Jesse is telling me to take my time and make the right decision for me.”
Metchie, who caught 31 touchdown passes during four seasons at St. James School (Hagerstown, Md.), will wrap up his prep career this year as a post-graduate student-athlete at Peddie School (Hightstown, N.J.). Jahan Dotson, a 2018 Penn State receiver signee, spent his junior year at Peddie.
“I think I’m ready now to go onto a college campus but having one more year [of prep football] will be a good thing for me,” Metchie said. “I can elevate my game with speed and strength, and be ready to make an impact when I get to college.”
Metchie hears from several members of the 2019 Nittany Lions class, including quarterback Taquan Roberson and defensive backs Keaton Ellis, Tyler Rudolph and Marquis Wilson. He’ll be on campus this weekend with 5-star Penn State linebacker pledge Brandon Smith.
Watch Metchie’s 2017 season highlights here:
Nittany Lions will welcome another 4-star WR this weekend
It’s shaping up to be a high-impact weekend for Penn State recruiting fortunes. Along with Metchie and Smith, fellow blue-chip recruits such as Lewis Cine (safety), Lance Dixon (linebacker) and Michael Johnson Jr. (quarterback) will be on campus for official visits.
Dunmore’s decision follows a Friday night announcement that he cut his recruitment down to seven schools: Auburn, Florida, Florida State, Miami, Michigan, Ohio State and Penn State.
Dunmore carries a long-established relationship with first-year Nittany Lions running backs coach Ja’Juan Seider. The 6-2, 172-pound pass target spent last season verbally committed to Florida while Seider was a member of the Gators staff.
“Coach Seider is like my big brother; I know he has my back,” Dunmore told SBNation’s Bud Elliott in March.
Penn State is still searching for its first receiver pledge of the 2019 cycle. Metchie is intrigued about sharing a visit with Dunmore, as these are two of the East Coast’s premier prospects at the position.
“It’s definitely something to think about, especially because they have three [freshmen receivers] coming in and guys who redshirted last year,” he said. “They’ve got a really good thing going on right now with receivers so I think it’s a special place and a special offense.”
Watch Dunmore’s junior-season highlights here:
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