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5-star in-state target Micah Parsons sets plans for two official visits
The good news for Nittany Lions fans: 5-star defensive end Micah Parsons will watch Penn State play in person at least once this season.
The bad news: He’ll observe the action while making his third trip to The Horseshoe.
Parsons confirmed that he’s scheduled two official visits, including one for Ohio State’s Oct. 28 game against the Nittany Lions, during a discussion with Adam Friedman of Rivals.com. Nebraska is the other known in-season destination, as he plans to attend the Cornhuskers’ showdown with Wisconsin on Oct. 7.
As far as the other three official visits he intends to use?
“I’m trying to figure out the rest,” Parsons told Friedman. “We [Harrisburg High School] play a lot of Saturday games this year, so it’s a little hard.”
The 6-foot-3, 235-pound prospect spent 14 months pledged to Penn State prior to his de-commitment in April. That decision occurred just eight days after he attended the Buckeyes spring game.
Parsons returned to Ohio State for its “Friday Night Lights” event July 21. He traveled to Nebraska in mid-June, and the Cornhuskers have emerged as another legitimate Big Ten contender.
— BLESSEDMVP (@Micah_parsons23) June 24, 2017
Alabama welcomed him to campus during a weekend in mid-July that featured Penn State’s annual Lasch Bash. Shaquon Anderson-Butts, his close friend and Harrisburg teammate, committed to the Nittany Lions while on campus for those festivities.
The receiver is confident he can help bring Parsons back on board, and another personal connection is now in place for the Nittany Lions. Damion Barber, a 4-star defensive end from Harrisburg who signed with Penn State in February, arrived on campus Wednesday after being delayed due to academic requirements.
Still, Penn State isn’t considered the leader. Although it’s a muddled race, that label probably goes to Ohio State. The Buckeyes claim 70 percent of experts’ predictions in the 247Sports Crystal Ball.
Parsons previously told Land of 10 he intended to stretch his decision-making process deep into winter. However, he mentioned potential early enrollment while updating Friedman, so that outlook has evolved.
If Parsons confirms early graduation is possible, his commitment timeline would adjust dramatically. Penn State hosted him three times in June but may be fighting an uphill battle to get Parsons on campus for an official visit due to his desire to explore less-familiar environments.
Losing the top-ranked player in Pennsylvania would sting, but dealing with him as Big Ten opponent would be like pouring salt in the wound.
4-star DB Lewis Cine set to return to Penn State after offer
The Nittany Lions extended several scholarship offers to New England-area underclassmen earlier this month. Lewis Cine, a rising junior at Everett (Mass.) High, landed one Aug. 2 and plans to reciprocate the interest by visiting Beaver Stadium this season.
The 6-2, 180-pound prospect told Land of 10 he will “definitely” return to Penn State for a game. Cine attended a camp July 16 in Happy Valley, which he said is “right around the corner” despite a drive that requires more than 400 miles on the road.
Though the 4-star defensive back isn’t sure which game he’ll attend, Cine expressed confidence about making it happen. Considered the No. 5 safety and No. 58 overall recruit in 247Sports’ 2019 composite rankings, his first trip to campus created a very positive impression.
“I was blown away by it, he said. “It was an all-business camp and then the coaches took me around campus and showed me a lot. The area is kind of a small spot, but I like the fact that it’s its own city.”
Cine worked under the direction of Penn State assistants Tim Banks (safeties) and Terry Smith (cornerbacks) throughout the event. He appreciated extra attention from both as he toured facilities.
“It showed me they really didn’t just want me to come to camp and show what I can do as a player,” Cine said. “They wanted to get to know me as a person and showed me hospitality, which I really appreciated.”
The Nittany Lions see him at free safety, handing duties deep in the defensive attack. Cine primarily plays safety for Everett, though some college programs have mentioned cornerback as a possibility.
“I have a lot of range and can run from sideline to sideline with ease,” he said. “I’m a ballhawk. I’m not afraid to hit at all because I love the contact and being physical. I cherish being the last defense on the field if someone gets past the front line and our linebackers.”
Cine waited more than two weeks between his performance at camp and the arrival of a Penn State scholarship offer. Still, when he was told to call Banks on Aug. 2, it certainly didn’t come as a surprise.
“The coaches told me after camp they just needed to check my highlights as a defensive staff, but to have no worries because I was definitely getting an offer,” Cine said. “Even though I knew it was coming, I was still ecstatic when that phone call actually happened.”
Wisconsin offered one day later, joining a recruitment that already includes nearly 20 universities. Florida, Louisville, Michigan, Notre Dame and Tennessee are among other early suitors.
Cine has stayed busy on the college circuit, traveling to Florida, Florida State, Indiana, Notre Dame, Ohio State and Penn State. The Nittany Lions will face considerable competition throughout the next two seasons in an effort to add this dynamic defender.
Cine, who moved to Massachusetts from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., when he was 10, is considered the state’s No. 1 2019 prospect. Penn State holds a pledge from Massachusetts’ No. 1 2018 recruit: 4-star tight end Pat Freiermuth.
The Nittany Lions are off to a strong start with Cine, and a game-day visit could help ensure Penn State remains in the long-distance picture for his pledge.
“The coaches treated me like family,” he said. “They kept it honest and you can’t ask for anything better than that. They told me what they see me doing on defense, how I could contribute and what my commitment would mean for their 2019 class.”