Stay updated as Penn State rises toward the top of the recruiting rankings! Don’t miss the coverage from Tyler Donohue, who brings a decade of experience as a national college football reporter and a recruiting department staff member with a Big Ten program. Read his daily notebooks here at 7:20 p.m. ET Sunday through Thursday, and follow us on Twitter for the latest Nittany Lions recruiting news.
Penn State DB target Jaden Davis to commit on birthday
Penn State is set to host impressive high school prospects from across the country this weekend for Blue-White Game action. Jaden Davis, a 4-star defensive back from South Florida, is one of several 2019 recruits who’ve scheduled official visits.
Davis, who will be on campus Friday through Sunday, publicly set the countdown clock toward his commitment announcement on Monday night. The 5-foot-11, 170-pound St. Thomas Aquinas (Fort Lauderdale) High School junior tweeted plans to issue a verbal pledge on July 18, which is his birthday.
He is the latest Penn State target to express interest in finalizing college plans by mid-summer. Running back Devyn Ford, defensive backs Tyler Rudolph and Marquis Wilson, and offensive lineman Caedan Wallace are among other notable Nittany Lions prospects who’ve gone on record with plans to commit within the next few months.
Davis, considered the No. 20 cornerback and a top-200 overall recruit in 247Sports 2019 composite rankings, claims more than 40 scholarship offers. He revealed his 10 favorite universities in February: Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Miami, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Penn State, Syracuse, Texas and Wisconsin.
Oklahoma welcomed Davis to campus last weekend for an official visit. Florida and Miami are considered nearby forces to be reckoned with in this recruitment, but it’s clear Davis is open to the idea of continuing his football career beyond Sunshine State borders.
Still three months shy of his commitment date, expect other programs to work toward locking in official visits this spring. High school juniors can now use official visits through late June, so Davis can maximize his five allotted opportunities by taking three more beyond this upcoming trip to State College. Texas will receive one of them, according to 247Sports’ EJ Holland.
Penn State presented Davis with an offer last September. He earned defensive back MVP honors at The Opening’s Miami regional in February. Watch his junior-season highlights here:
Top-ranked LB Owen Pappoe puts skills on display before PSU visit
Owen Pappoe is another marquee recruit expected to spend this weekend in State College, as first reported by 247Sports’ Sean Fitz. He confirmed plans to use an official visit at Penn State during a conversation Sunday with our Cox Media colleague Jeff Sentell of DawgNation at The Opening’s Charlotte (N.C.) regional camp.
Pappoe, a 6-foot-1, 209-pound junior at Grayson (Loganville, Ga.) High School, made history in summer 2016 by becoming the first rising sophomore to receive an invitation to The Opening Finals. Nearly two years later, he added another accolade to his heralded prep career.
Pappoe, considered the No. 1 linebacker and No. 7 overall prospect in 2019 composite rankings, posted the best Nike football rating score ever on The Opening’s regional circuit, which has featured many current NFL players. His cumulative score was 147.12, more than 20 points beyond any other participant on Sunday.
This virtuoso performance featured a 4.47-second 40-yard dash, 4-second agility shuttle, 40-inch vertical leap and 45-foot power ball toss. The Opening staff announced Tuesday that Pappoe is the event’s first three-time finalist.
These results provide further indication of why he has warranted collegiate attention since his earliest days of high school.
Pappoe began collecting Power 5 offers months before his first freshman game. Penn State placed itself among early suitors by extending an offer in March 2016, and Pappoe’s options have expanded to include nearly 50 universities.
Auburn and Georgia are the perceived favorites in this pursuit, per experts’ projections in the 247Sports Crystal Ball. LSU and Texas are among others schools in the mix. It’s worth noting Pappoe will be in Beaver Stadium when Georgia hits the field for its spring game.
Pappoe recently shifted his commitment date from May 5 to May 1, according to Sentell. Penn State’s ability to get a prospect of his caliber on campus this close to a decision speaks volumes about program perception on a national level.
“I’ve been getting offers since the eighth grade,” Pappoe said. “I’ve put a lot of thought into it and I believe whatever decision that I make is going to be the right one for me.”
Other priority Penn State targets at linebacker in the 2019 class include Shane Lee (Baltimore), Brandon Smith (Mineral, Va.) and Andre White (Harrisburg, Pa.).
Lions offer 4-star South Florida DL Braylen Ingraham
We have another item to address at aforementioned South Florida football powerhouse St. Thomas Aquinas, the home of defensive back Jaden Davis. Penn State is targeting yet another player on the Raiders roster: defensive lineman Braylen Ingraham.
The Nittany Lions offered Ingraham on Monday. Others on the St. Thomas Aquinas roster in possession of a Penn State offer include Davis, linebackers Avery Huff and Anthony Solomon, and receiver Marcus Rosemy.
Ingraham visited Oklahoma last weekend, while Alabama, Clemson, Florida, Miami, Ohio State and Oregon are among other options.
The 6-4, 260-pound prospect transferred to St. Thomas Aquinas from Dillard (Fort Lauderdale) High School this offseason. He will work under the direction of Raiders assistant coach Jason Taylor, a former Miami Dolphins star and Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee.
Ingraham is taking an aggressive approach into the 2018 season, when college programs such as Penn State will be watching closely.
“I want to lead [Broward County] in sacks and I want to make first-team all-state. Defensive Player of the Year,” he told CanesInSight.com’s Matthew Suero.
Ingraham is listed 17th among strongside defensive ends and 229th overall in 2019 composite rankings. Watch his junior-season highlights here:
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