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4-star Florida DB Jaden Davis schedules official visit
Expect an influx of visitors from the Sunshine State in 2018 as Penn State ramps up recruiting efforts in Florida. Last week, we detailed an upcoming trip to Happy Valley for elite running back Noah Cain, and now defensive back Jaden Davis plans to spend time on campus.
The 4-star prospect, a junior at St. Thomas Aquinas (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) High School, revealed plans Friday night to use an official visit for the Blue-White Game weekend. Add Davis to an impressive list of anticipated attendees that includes wide receiver Julian Fleming, running back Devyn Ford and offensive lineman Caedan Wallace.
Considered the No. 20 cornerback and No. 200 overall recruit in the 247Sports 2019 composite rankings, Davis claims nearly 50 scholarship offers. Penn State entered this mix during early stages of his junior season and the mid-winter hiring of former Florida Gators assistant Ja’Juan Seider helps the program’s case here.
Davis will spend this upcoming weekend at Oklahoma, using an official visit to explore possibilities with the Sooners. He announced 10 favorite universities in February: Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Miami, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Penn State, Syracuse, Texas and Wisconsin.
Florida and Miami are perceived leaders at this point, though upcoming travels could alter Davis’ outlook as he works toward a decision. As documented by Diehard’s David Wilson, it’s been an impressive offseason for the 5-foot-11, 170-pound recruit.
In February, Davis earned an invitation to compete in the 2019 Under Armour All-America Game and claimed defensive back MVP honors at The Opening’s star-studded Miami regional camp.
Penn State is set to host a few key defensive back targets for official visits during the Blue-White Game, which should accelerate efforts to expand the Nittany Lions’ 2019 recruiting class. Davis will take in the action alongside fellow 4-star secondary standouts Tyler Rudolph and Marquis Wilson, both from Connecticut.
Watch Davis’ 2017 season highlights here:
Penn State targets a pair of tight end prospects
The Nittany Lions have stayed active in expanding a national search for tight end talent in the 2019 class. Though Penn State offered only two tight ends — Hunter Henry and Austin Stogner — from last May through the 2017 season, there was an explosion of new interest this winter.
These efforts have extended into April, reflected by recent offers to Ethan Rae and Garmon Randolph. The Nittany Lions’ target board now includes 10 players considered top-30 tight end prospects in the 2019 composite rankings.
Rae, listed seventh on that list, is the second Penn State tight end target to emerge in California. The 6-5, 240-pound Orange Lutheran High School standout is considered one of Southern California’s premier offensive talents.
Rae’s offer sheet also features Arizona State, Florida, Notre Dame, Ole Miss, UCLA and USC. He spent last Saturday in South Bend, Ind., home of the Fighting Irish.
Penn State hosted fellow prized California tight end prospect Isaiah Foskey for an official visit last weekend. Rae reported his Nittany Lions offer on Thursday, tweeting the news rendered him “speechless”.
— Ethan Rae (@Rae__Ethan) April 6, 2018
Randolph, a 6-6, 215-pound junior at Jefferson (Ga.) High School, secured a Penn State offer on Tuesday. The Florida State Seminoles entered his recruitment only a few hours earlier.
Considered the class’ 26th-best tight end prospect, collegiate interest has swiftly expanded in Randolph in recent months. In addition to the Tuesday developments, he’s added offers from LSU, Maryland Michigan, Missouri and Wisconsin since late January.
The Nittany Lions have offered more recruits in Georgia than any state aside from Florida, and Randolph is the latest addition to that list. Watch his junior-season highlights here:
The Nittany Lions signed two top-10 tight ends in a talented 2018 class: Pat Freiermuth and Zack Kuntz. Other notable Penn State tight end targets include Jahleel Billingsley (Chicago), Patrick Herbert (Eugene, Ore.) and Keon Zipperer (Lakeland, Fla.).
Nittany Lions offer would ‘change the game’ for in-state recruit
Penn State has been very selective offering in-state talent in the 2019 recruiting cycle.
Last weekend, defensive back Joey Porter Jr. became only the third high school junior in Pennsylvania to pick up an offer from the Nittany Lions. His only company in this category is Harrisburg linebacker Andre White and local State College cornerback Keaton Ellis, who verbally pledged to Penn State in September.
It should come as no surprise that other in-state players are clamoring to join the list. Count Gateway (Monroeville, Pa.) High School defensive back/receiver Courtney Jackson is among them. The 5-11, 160-pound prospect is teammates with Derrick Davis Jr., who became Penn State’s first official 2021 target earlier this offseason.
Jackson, who holds Power 5 offers from Baylor, Kentucky, Syracuse and West Virginia, expressed sincere excitement when the Nittany Lions were mentioned last weekend during a discussion with Land of 10’s Ryan Donnelly.
“I was supposed to go up [to Penn State] this past weekend, but the weather was really bad,” Jackson said. “We talk, there’s a possibility of an offer. That’s mostly [cornerbacks coach] Terry [Smith], he’s the guy I talk to up there. Penn State would be huge. They’re on a different level. That would definitely change the game.”
Jackson tied a PIAA playoff record last year with 14 receptions in a postseason game, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Mike White. He is among many notable Pennsylvania prospects, along with running back Patrick Garwo, safety Tykee Smith, offensive lineman Andrew Kristofic and linebacker Keith Maguire, who haven’t yet landed on the Nittany Lions’ target board.
His sentiments about what a Penn State offer would mean provides insight into the potential impact the staff could make if it elects to expand recruiting efforts on home turf.
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