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Which Penn State prospects are approaching commitments?
Penn State picked up its third verbal commitment of the 2019 recruiting class April 21 shortly before kickoff of the Blue-White game. Offensive lineman Caedan Wallace joined fellow New Jersey standout Taquan Roberson, a quarterback, and local State College cornerback Keaton Ellis, who told Land of 10 they’re focused on expanding the group.
“My main purpose is to build this class, and that means building relationships with as many recruits as possible,” Ellis said. “These guys could be my future teammates, and I want to do everything I can to have the best players by my side.”
The Penn State staff is approaching top targets with similar intensity, and a commitment spree could loom when the early official visit window ends in late June. There are also opportunities for additions before then, beginning with an elite running back’s announcement later this month.
Here’s a rundown of six Nittany Lions targets who could soon come off the board.
RB Devyn Ford
High school: North Stafford (Va.)
247Sports composite ranking: No. 3 running back; No. 63 overall
Primary competition: Virginia Tech
Let’s start with the obvious candidate to join the Nittany Lions class sooner rather than later. Devyn Ford’s decision date is set for May 18, when he’ll select either Penn State or Virginia Tech.
Dynamics changed in this recruitment in April, as Ford used official visits at both finalists and eliminated perceived serious contender Ohio State from the equation. A 2017 all-state selection at running back and punt returner, he gained 2,000 rushing yards last season while running behind Nittany Lions tackle signee Nana Asiedu.
“He’s an explosive, explosive weapon,” Asiedu told Land of 10. “Once he hits that outside crease, I know he’s gone. All of the sudden I hear ‘Devin Ford for the Wolverines touchdown.’ And I’m like, ‘Dang, that was fast.’ We’re going to love if he comes to Penn State.”
DB John Dixon
High school: Chamberlain (Tampa, Fla.)
247Sports composite ranking: No. 33 cornerback; No. 367 overall
Primary competition: Alabama, Miami, Ohio State, South Carolina
John Dixon, who added an offer from the Nittany Lions on March 20, placed Penn State in his top-5 list last Wednesday. That announcement came with a statement that he is “bringing this process to an end soon.”
How soon? Well, Penn State would probably prefer to have enough time to coordinate a campus visit. You can be sure incoming Nittany Lions cornerback and fellow Tampa area standout Jordan Miner will be actively engaged.
“John is a baller,” Miner told Land of 10. “I’ve been playing with him since little league football. [He is] definitely a must-get. In my opinion, [he is] one of the best, if not the best corner, in 2019.”
WR John Metchie
High school: St. James School (Hagerstown, Md.)
247Sports composite ranking: No. 41 receiver; No. 261 overall
Primary competition: Michigan, Notre Dame, Syracuse
John Metchie keeps coming back to State College, most recently for the Blue-White game, and those close to the situation project confidence that Penn State will be at or near the top of any commitment conversations. A transplant from Ontario, Canada, he has a close relationship with Nittany Lions freshman linebacker Jesse Luketa, a fellow Canadian.
Penn State put itself in an excellent spot here early, though a relentless wave of new offers altered things this offseason. Notre Dame is notably making a hard push but Penn State is probably right where it needs to be at this stage. It wouldn’t surprise if Metchie issues a commitment without warning, and it could happen at any time.
High school: St. Thomas More (Oakdale, Conn.)
247Sports composite ranking: No. 22 safety; No. 307 overall
Primary competition: Clemson, Florida, Michigan, Ohio State
Tyler Rudolph used an official visit at Penn State in April and told Land of 10 he plans to pick a college by early summer. That could change, but a recent trip to Clemson and a scheduled official visit to Florida during the first weekend of June should help put things in perspective for the versatile defensive back.
“Everything; with [Penn State] just feels like a family,” he said in April. “The amount of love they show is crazy.”
Rudolph, who landed a Nittany Lions offer while on campus last November for Penn State’s game vs. Nebraska, represents another key recruiting target in New England. His teammate, defensive tackle Tre Williams, is a high priority on Penn State’s 2020 board.
High school: Avon Old Farms (Avon, Conn.)
247Sports composite ranking: No. 27 athlete; No. 301 overall
Primary competition: Iowa, Nebraska, Pittsburgh, Syracuse
Marquis Wilson might eventually be the second piece of a package deal at defensive back for Penn State. He is a close friend of Rudolph, and recently indicated to Land of 10 that his commitment won’t be far behind his buddy’s decision.
“I think if you get one, you get both,” Ellis said after spending time with them at the Blue-White game.
Like Rudolph, Wilson was on campus for an official visit that weekend. There is a growing sense that it would be a substantial upset if neither player ends up at Penn State.
High school: Smyrna (Delaware)
247Sports composite ranking: No. 14 guard; No. 408 overall
Primary competition: Notre Dame
Fellow Nittany Lions offensive line target Jakai Moore (Nokesville, Va.) probably makes sense for this list, too, but let’s focus on Saleem Wormley. He has visited Happy Valley three times since March 24, with Penn State presenting an offer.
Though he’s hinted at having an itch to commit, Wormley has held off on any decision. A scheduled mid-June official visit to Notre Dame looms large, and that trip could ultimately represent the final hurdle in Penn State’s attempts to pair him with Wallace in this class.
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