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.
OL Saleem Wormley reacts to Penn State offer, plans official visit
The final week of March featured a slew of campus visits and scholarship offers at Penn State. Saleem Wormley, an offensive lineman from Smyrna, Del., is one of those who emerged among new Nittany Lions targets.
The 6-foot-3, 320-pound prospect traveled to State College on March 24 and returned home with a Penn State offer. Wormley, a junior at Smyrna High School, made the trip with his mother and two teammates.
His prominence on the college football recruiting trail steadily expanded this winter. Florida State, Maryland, North Carolina, Notre Dame, Kentucky and West Virginia are among programs that have extended offers since the start of February.
It became clear during his time on campus that Penn State intended to join the crowd.
“They handled it greatly,” Wormley told Land of 10. “I sat down with [offensive line coach Matt] Limegrover privately, then my mom came in on it too. After that talk we all went to Coach [James] Franklin’s office, and we talked there. Then Franklin gave me the offer.”
Projected as an interior offensive lineman in college, Wormley is listed 14th among guards in the 247Sports 2019 composite rankings. He enjoyed a dominant junior campaign at right tackle but anticipates a transition.
“I understand I don’t have the height or length to play tackle [in college] so I’m fine with it,” Wormley said. “I don’t know where Penn State wants me to line up but it doesn’t matter to me. I’ll play any position they need.”
He described his aggressiveness and footwork as personal strengths that have helped attract attention from college coaches. Here are highlights from Wormley’s 2017 season:
When asked which programs make him feel like a priority, Wormley pointed to Penn State while also referencing Maryland, North Carolina, Notre Dame, West Virginia and “especially” Rutgers.
He said he plans to use an official visit at Penn State. Wormley remains undecided about a commitment timeline, though he did confirm intentions to finalize plans in December during the early signing period.
Franklin made a strong impression on Smyrna coach Mike Judy during a conversation that took place soon after Penn State added Wormley to its 2019 recruiting board. That’s a strong step toward strengthening the relationship with another intriguing offensive lineman.
“I received a phone call from Coach Franklin yesterday regarding some of our kids,” Judy tweeted on March 26. “What a classy guy. He ‘gets it’. No wonder he kills the recruiting game everywhere he goes.”
Nittany Lions welcome 2 of New Jersey’s top recruits to campus
The Penn State recruiting spotlight never drifts too far from the Garden State, home to recent Nittany Lions standouts such as Jason Cabinda, Mike Gesicki and Juwan Johnson. Penn State signed the top 2 overall 2018 recruits in New Jersey composite rankings: receiver Justin Shorter and defensive end Jayson Oweh.
The Nittany Lions landed New Jersey’s top-rated 2019 quarterback recruit in October when Taquan Roberson announced a verbal commitment. Franklin has sent offers across the state to other top talents, and two of them journeyed to town during the past 24 hours.
Penn State hosted premier running back prospect Jalen Berger on Wednesday. Defensive lineman Antonio Alfano returned to Happy Valley on Thursday, asking social media followers for State College dining advice.
Both players have spent time on campus in the past, so these visits provided them an opportunity to explore new aspects of the program. Penn State offered Alfano and Berger before their respective sophomore seasons, so there is an established history in each case.
Alfano, a junior at Colonia High School, is considered the No. 5 strongside defensive end and No. 1 New Jersey prospect in 2019 composite rankings. He previously announced plans to issue a verbal pledge in December but ultimately extended the process.
Berger, a Don Bosco Prep (Ramsey, N.J.) sophomore, is listed second among Garden State recruits and 104th overall in 247Sports’ 2020 rankings. He is a dynamic all-purpose threat out of the backfield and also has collegiate potential at defensive back.
Berger boasts an impressive offer sheet through two prep seasons, with Alabama, Florida, LSU, Michigan, Ohio State and Tennessee among more than 20 Power 5 opportunities. Alfano, who also has an array of options, scheduled visits to Alabama and Georgia next week.
Both prospects are expected to compete Sunday at The Opening’s regional camp at the New York Jets facilities in Florham Park, N.J. Land of 10 will provide coverage from the event, so you can anticipate updates regarding Alfano, Berger and their outlook toward Penn State.
Stay tuned to Land of 10 for additional content from our New Jersey travels on Friday. I’ll swing by Blair Academy to spend time with Penn State signee Jayson Oweh, who joins the roster this summer, and gain insight on his teammate David Ojabo, a 2019 defensive end who is heading to Happy Valley on Saturday.
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