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2019 target Steven Faucheux set for return trip to Penn State
Steven Faucheux, one of the most popular young defensive recruits in Big Ten territory, is preparing to make his first campus appearance as an official Penn State target. The 247Sports 4-star defensive end, a rising junior at West Chester (Ohio) Lakota West, told Land of 10 he plans to arrive in State College on Friday afternoon.
“PSU looks like a place where I could develop as a player, academically and as a man and prepare for life after football,” Faucheux said.
Considered the No. 93 overall recruit and No. 8 strongside defensive end in 247Sports’ 2019 rankings, he added a Nittany Lions offer May 8. Alabama and Pittsburgh also extended scholarships last month, while earlier suitors include Cincinnati, Florida, Louisville, Maryland and Tennessee.
The Penn State staff made him an early priority, traveling to Lakota West multiple times for insight on Faucheux. The Nittany Lions also focused on two rising Class of 2018 teammates — 4-star LB Xavier Peters and 3-star DT Tyler Bentley.
Within days of Penn State’s most recent visit, Faucheux was encouraged to call defensive line coach Sean Spencer. The ensuing conversation resulted in a scholarship offer.
“Coaches have told me they like my versatility — they see me as a strongside defensive end who can drop down inside as well,” Faucheux said. “They also say they like my pass rush, how I get off blocks and find the ball, my aggressiveness and how I use my length.”
Penn State previously welcomed him to campus March 25, providing an atmosphere that altered his outlook toward the program.
“I had a high opinion of PSU already and what they did last season but that opinion got stronger when I visited to watch a spring practice,” Faucheux said. “There just seemed to be a really good vibe going with the players and coaches.”
The 6-foot-5, 272-pound Faucheux will compete Saturday in the first of three Elite Camp editions hosted by Penn State this month. He is working to build off a sophomore season that featured 8 tackles for loss and 4 sacks in 9 games, according to Dave Bevan of BamaDigest.com.
“I feel like I attack the ball and control gaps well,” Faucheux said. “Next season we’re changing our defensive philosophy a bit so I’m hoping to be able to just attack more.”
Along with this trip to State College, Faucheux shared that upcoming travel plans are established with Notre Dame and Ohio State.
Earlier this spring, Faucheux earned an invitation to compete at the Under Armour Future 50 event in Orlando, Fla. The underclassmen showcase coincides with the Under Armour All-America Game next winter.
Nittany Lions coaches begin four-state satellite camp tour Friday
There isn’t much room for rest in the lives of college football staffs, as spring camp leads to spring recruiting evaluation and eventually a summer camp circuit. James Franklin and his assistants embark on four satellite camps this month, along with hosting multiple on-campus events including the aforementioned Saturday camp in Happy Valley.
The whirlwind tour begins Friday in Georgia, a state Franklin has concentrated on with regularity as a recruiter. The Nittany Lions staff will partake in a camp at Mercer University in Macon.
QB Justin Fields — the 5-star crown jewel of Penn State’s 2018 class — lives in the Peach State. Franklin extended offers to 2019 Georgia standouts Rashad Cheney Jr. (defensive tackle) and Kenyatta Watson II (safety) this spring.
Coaches will return to State College for their own camp Saturday before heading back on the road Sunday. Penn State also welcomes competitors to campus for its Elite Camp series June 11 and 16, leading up to the June 17 Lion Strong 7-on-7 tournament and Big Man Challenge.
Below is a list of satellite camps Nittany Lions coaches are scheduled to attend:
- Mercer University (Macon, Ga.) — June 2
- Middle Tennessee State University (Murfreesboro, Tenn.) — June 4
- Old Dominion University (Norfolk, Va.) — June 9
- Northern Illinois University (DeKalb, Ill.) — June 14
The second half of June features a slight break in the action. The most meaningful recruiting/camp event to keep an eye on beyond these next few weeks is Penn State’s Underclass Showcase Camp on July 16, when several top-tier commits and targets should swarm Beaver Stadium.
Penn State enters first month of summer atop Big Ten class rankings
The Nittany Lions briefly relinquished the No. 1 spot in247Sports’ 2018 composite Big Ten recruiting class rankings. That switch occurred May 16 when 4-star LB Dallas Gant committed to Ohio State, boosting the Buckeyes past Penn State.
However, recent 2018 rankings shuffles at industry leaders — including a May 30 update at Rivals.com — impacted composite scores. The result returned Penn State to the top spot, though it’s worth noting Urban Meyer claims three fewer pledges than Franklin.
The Nittany Lions and Buckeyes sit No. 2 and No. 3, respectively, in national composite class rankings. Miami leads the way as June gets underway.
Here’s a look at how the top half of Big Ten class rankings shake out at this stage, displaying each program’s composite class score.
- Penn State Nittany Lions (13 commits) — 227.83
- Ohio State Buckeyes (10 commits) — 227.52
- Nebraska Cornhuskers (11 commits) — 184.50
- Michigan Wolverines (10 commits) — 179.03
- Northwestern Wildcats (13 commits) — 154.72
- Minnesota Gophers (12 commits) — 144.85
- Wisconsin Badgers (10 commits) — 132.31
Penn State and Ohio State carry a combined 13 top-100 overall prospects in their 2018 classes. The remaining 12 Big Ten teams place just three pledges in that category.