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Penn State cornerback commits confirm long-distance official visits
Penn State is set to host an abundance of recruiting visitors representing a variety of classes Saturday. A long-awaited matchup with Michigan will attract plenty of uncommitted talent to Happy Valley, while many members of the 2018 Nittany Lions class are also expected.
This group includes cornerbacks Trent Gordon and Jordan Miner, long-distance pledges who will utilize official visits. Gordon confirmed his plans with Land of 10 Tuesday night, while Miner’s father, John, reiterated travel intentions we initially reported in August.
Unlike a standard unofficial visit, which is what we’ve witnessed from visiting commits to this point, travel and accommodations aren’t the responsibility of a recruit and their family.
Official visits are an option only for high school seniors, and each student-athlete is allowed five such trips. However, a recent NCAA rule change will allow high school juniors to take official visits during April, May and June, starting with the 2019 class.
The multi-day stays provide a more intimate setting for prospects and their support system. It’s an opportunity to go in-depth with coaches, players and academic advisors, while gaining a greater understanding of football, learning and living facilities.
This is particularly important in the case of Gordon and Miner, who live far from campus.
Miner, a 6-foot-1, 183-pound senior at Wiregrass Ranch (Wesley Chapel, Fla.) High School, has only traveled to Happy Valley once. He and his father, John Miner, journeyed to Penn State on June 1 and left feeling positive about the program.
“I’ve been on a few of these trips with Jordan and they’re normally about 4-5 hours max,” John said afterward. “But we were actually on campus for 10 hours, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., and it was an engaging experience the entire time. They kept things interesting and answered any questions we had. I was very impressed.”
Miner committed to Nittany Lions coach James Franklin later that month, then went public with his pledge July 6. He was unable to attend Lasch Bash festivities July 15, when several commits spent the day together, so this is a key opportunity to build bonds with future teammates.
Gordon, who attends Manvel (Texas) High School, pledged to Penn State on March 29. Despite consistent interest from other college programs, he remains steadfast in this pact and was among those who traveled to campus for Lasch Bash.
One of two Lone Star State products committed to the Nittany Lions, along with Penn State legacy defensive back Isaiah Humphries, Gordon doesn’t seem likely to explore alternative options. His father spoke with my colleague, Sam Spiegelman, of SEC Country on Wednesday.
Mr. Gordon told Spiegelman Cal, Texas A&M and UCLA are among programs pursuing Trent. However, they only expect to use one official visit, this weekend in Happy Valley.
Long time since I’ve been in Happy Valley but I’m coming home this weekend #WeAre 🦁
— TG (@_TRENTG_) October 17, 2017
As for other committed recruits, I’m told the majority of 2018 class members plan to use their official visits in December.
Penn State commitment stat tracker: Week 7
Each Wednesday, we’ll provide updated season statistics for various Nittany Lions commits. Although the number of games played for these prospects vary, below is a review of the production for several future Penn State players.
(Statistics are unofficial and obtained firsthand or courtesy of MaxPreps unless otherwise noted.)
High School: Harrisburg (Pa.)
Team Record: 7-0
Last Week: 5 receptions for 71 yards in 48-10 win over Central Dauphin
Season Stats: 17 receptions, 335 receiving yards, 7 total touchdowns
*Week 7 stats according to Eric Epler of PennLive.
I be telling people I’m a ATH 🤷🏽♂️ pic.twitter.com/JWMdrkX77u
— quon (@anderson_quon) October 14, 2017
CB Keaton Ellis (2019)
High School: State College (Pa.)
Team Record: 6-1
Last Week: Did not play (recovering from thumb surgery) 34-14 win over Central Dauphin East
Season Stats: 64 rushing yards, 163 receiving yards, 5 total touchdowns, 6 tackles, 3 pass breakups, 2 blocked kicks
High School: Oxon Hill (Md.)
Team Record: 4-3
Last Week: 3 receptions for 52 yards, 6 tackles and a 2-point conversion in 58-14 loss to Wise
Season Stats: 28 receptions, 367 receiving yards, 5 total touchdowns, 7 interceptions
High School: Sachse (Texas)
Team Record: 6-0
Last Week: 2 tackles, 1 tackle for loss, 1 interception in 74-9 win over Garland
Season Stats: 30 tackles, 4 tackles for loss, 4 interceptions, 4 pass breakups
TE Zack Kuntz
High School: Camp Hill (Pa.)
Team Record: 3-3
Last Week: 5 receptions for 116 yards, 1 interception in 49-0 loss to Middletown
Season Stats: 32 receptions, 712 yards, 7 total touchdowns
*Week 6 stats according to Andrew Mease of PennLive.
CB Jordan Miner
High School: Wiregrass Ranch (Wesley Chapel, Fla.)
Team Record: 6-1
Last Week: 28 rushing yards, 6 receiving yards, 3 tackles in 39-8 win over Freedom
Season Stats: 25 tackles, 4 pass breakups, 2 interceptions, 216 rushing yards, 125 receiving yards, 8 total touchdowns
High School: South Brunswick (N.J.)
Team Record: 4-1
Last Week: 4 receptions for 39 yards and 1 touchdown in 42-13 win over East Brunswick
Season Stats: 19 receptions, 260 receiving yards, 179 rushing yards, 6 total touchdowns
RB Ricky Slade
High School: C.D. Hylton (Woodbridge, Va.)
Team Record: 5-2
Last Week: 89 rushing yards, 1 rushing touchdown, 15 receiving yards, 1 receiving touchdown, 85-yard kickoff return in 57-3 win over Potomac
Season Stats: 1,146 rushing yards, 170 receiving yards, 23 total touchdowns
High School: Pennridge (Perkasie, Pa.)
Team Record: 4-2
Last Week: 60 rushing yards, 6 tackles, 1 tackle for loss in 35-26 win over William Tennent
Season Stats: 179 rushing yards, 112 receiving yards, 59 tackles, 13 tackles for loss, 6 sacks
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