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Cam’Ron Kelly, who placed Penn State in top group, sets commitment date
Another day, another decision date determined. A recent series of scheduled commitment announcements that directly impact Penn State recruiting efforts continued Wednesday night when Cam’Ron Kelly revealed his plans.
The 4-star defensive back tweeted details for an upcoming declaration. He will go public with a college pick June 8 during a ceremony at Oscar Smith (Chesapeake, Va.) High School, providing Nittany Lions fans with yet another date to circle on their calendar.
Penn State is set to learn its fate with four priority prospects — defensive lineman Antonio Alfano, running back Devyn Ford, defensive back Tyler Rudolph and linebacker Brandon Smith — during the next four days. Last weekend, Nittany Lions offensive line target Saleem Wormley announced plans to commit on July 23, so another key date looms large down the road.
Clearly, the next few weeks will reveal a lot about how Penn State’s 2019 recruiting class might take shape. It’s a group that currently consists of local cornerback Keaton Ellis and New Jersey standouts Taquan Roberson (quarterback) and Caedan Wallace (offensive line).
It wouldn’t surprise to see this class size doubled by dinner time Monday, and Kelly could potentially push the total higher less than 20 days later. Labeled the No. 14 athlete and a top-200 overall talent in the 247Sports 2019 composite rankings, the 6-foot-1, 190-pound Kelly provides value across the field.
Kelly, who picked up a scholarship offer from Penn State in May 2017, collected 8 interceptions during a breakout sophomore season, per MaxPreps. He followed with an impressive junior campaign, totaling 1,661 yards while lined up at quarterback, receiver and running back, according to The Virginian-Pilot’s Larry Rubama.
Kelly spent time alongside Ford, who chooses between Penn State and Virginia Tech on Friday, during a shared official visit weekend (April 20-22). They, along with Smith (Louisa County), could soon become the latest elite Virginia talents headed to Happy Valley, following 2018 Nittany Lions signees Ricky Slade (5-star running back) and Nana Asiedu (top-10 tackle).
There was sentiment Penn State may have been close to securing a commitment from Kelly only days after that trip. However, a scheduled April 24 announcement turned out to be the release of his top-8 list.
Aside from the Nittany Lions, Kelly said he is considering Auburn, Clemson, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Washington State and Virginia. The 247Sports Crystal Ball provides a promising forecast for Penn State, which carries 100 percent of pledge predictions.
Kelly, who claims more than 40 offers, warrants attention as both a cornerback and safety. With Ellis already on board and Rudolph a strong candidate to join the class Monday, Penn State will have a chance to further solidify its 2019 defensive secondary class June 8.
Watch Kelly’s junior-season highlights here:
Penn State offer surprised Joey Porter Jr., who plans official visits
In-state offers have been rare for the Nittany Lions so far during 2019 recruiting efforts. Joey Porter Jr. became the third member of Pennsylvania’s rising high school senior class to land on Penn State’s target board, back on April 7.
He joined Ellis (State College) and Harrisburg linebacker Andre White, who verbally committed to Texas A&M last month. The offer represented a long-awaited moment for Porter, a defensive back who attends North Allegheny (Wexford, Pa.).
He looked back last week during a discussion with Land of 10’s Ryan Donnelly after The Opening’s regional camp in Canton, Ohio.
“After the whole visit, Coach [James] Franklin wanted to talk to me in his office, so he and [cornerbacks coach] Terry Smith took me up and that’s when they offered me,” Porter told Donnelly. “I didn’t know it was coming at all. I had been visiting Penn State since like eighth or ninth grade, whenever I was allowed to, and I had gotten the same thing every time. They surprised me with that.”
The son of former NFL Pro Bowl linebacker Joey Porter, now an assistant coach for the Pittsburgh Steelers, he’s managed to make his own mark on the football field. His 2017 season featured 7 interceptions, and Porter explained an enhanced version of himself awaits opponents this autumn.
“I’m just working on drills, trying to get down on my 40[-yard dash] time and make my feet faster,” he said. “It hasn’t even been a year since I’ve switched to corner. I was doing wide receiver at [The Opening] this time last year. I made the switch in June , so I’m still getting better every day. I’ve got a lot more to improve on.”
Ellis is presently Penn State’s only committed defensive back but, as we alluded to earlier in this notebook, that situation may be on the verge of changing in a big way.
Porter, who is approaching 20 offers, has begun to develop a strategy for the remainder of his recruitment. The process will involve at least a few official visits.
“I’m visiting Miami, most likely in the summer,” he said. “I’m visiting UCLA in the summer. I’m gonna go down there because my family is down near there. They’re probably going to be official visits. I’m not taking any more unofficials. Miami has offered, but not UCLA. I’m still talking to them.”
While more than 150 prospects packed Beaver Stadium on April 21 for the Blue-White Game, Porter was in SEC territory. He attended LSU’s spring game, and told Donnelly he “loved it a lot”. That was his first trip to the school, but likely won’t be the last.
“I’m probably going to LSU for an official,” Porter said.
At least another stop in Happy Valley is also on the agenda.
“Penn State would for sure be an official, but I’m still thinking about my other one,” he said. “Those four [Penn State, LSU, Miami and UCLA] are the main ones. I probably will take the official [for Penn State] because I need to see the campus and spend more time with the players.”
Expect Porter to take another step toward his decision before the season.
“I’m planning on cutting them down in the summer, but right now, I’m still looking at every school the same.” he said. “I’ve got to love the coaches and I’ve got to see if they’re trying to put people in the league. That’s what I’m trying to do at the end of the day, go to the league.”
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