Stay updated as Penn State rises toward the top of recruiting rankings! Don’t miss any of the coverage from Tyler Donohue, who brings a decade of experience as both a national CFB reporter and recruiting department staff member with a Big Ten program. Read his daily notebooks here at 7:20 p.m. ET Monday through Friday, and follow us on Twitter for the latest Nittany Lions recruiting news.
Penn State sends coach southwest to spend time with son of program legend Curtis Enis
All-American running back Curtis Enis was a mid-’90s sensation in State College. He rushed for 3,256 yards and 36 touchdowns during three seasons with the Nittany Lions; totals that rank fifth and second in school history, respectively.
Now two decades later, his son steps into the spotlight as a national recruit.
Solomon Enis, a 4-star receiver ranked the No. 1 overall Arizona prospect in 247Sports’ 2018 composite rankings, continues to create his own reputation. He holds more than a dozen scholarship offers, the latest coming from Colorado, Georgia, Oregon and Tennessee.
The father-son duo traveled to Happy Valley together for the team’s spring game. Solomon shared rave reviews for their endeavor on Twitter.
— Solomon Enis #21 (@SolomonEnis) April 23, 2017
Penn State offered the 6-foot-4, 190-pound prospect in February. Enis relished the opportunity to explore campus and relive his father’s collegiate glory this past weekend.
“The people around town were nice, the fans were amazing and the coaches were just great to us,” he told Blair Angulo of Scout.com. “We were walking around and [my dad’s] name was on the board of All-Americans, so that was great to see all the hard work he put in to be shown at a university like Penn State.”
Nittany Lions receivers coach Josh Gattis likely envisions Enis as an outside option in his passing attack. The Penn State assistant stayed busy days after the spring game, traveling to Phoenix for a follow-up with the legacy target.
Penn State WR coach out west checking on one of the program's top 2018 prospects, 4-star Solomon Enis. https://t.co/OQ9wW1DCg3
— Greg Pickel (@GregPickel) April 28, 2017
Enis erupted for a sensational junior season at North Canyon High School.
He secured 64 receptions for 1,144 yards and 10 touchdowns in nine games, per MaxPreps. His breakout campaign also included 318 rushing yards, 4 rushing scores, 32 tackles and 2 interceptions.
Penn State claims just one receiver pledge at this point: 4-star New Jersey native Justin Shorter. Along with Enis, the Nittany Lions are chasing fellow blue-chip pass catchers such as Jahan Dotson (New Jersey), Daniel George (Maryland) and Shaquon Anderson-Butts (Pennsylvania).
USC presents another compelling possibility in this recruitment. The Trojans offered earlier this year and signed fellow North Canyon prospect Austin Jackson (4-star offensive tackle) in February.
New York City speedster felt welcomed during spring game visit, excited for full-time transition to WR
Erasmus Hall (Brooklyn) High School junior Aron Cruickshank is a versatile weapon at the prep level.
He helped lead the metropolitan powerhouse to a third consecutive championship game appearance in 2016, tallying 28 total touchdowns and 1,009 rushing yards while primarily lined up at quarterback, according to Laura Amato of Brooklyn Daily.
It’s a classic example of a high school squad’s most talented skill player shifted under center because of big-play potential. However, his football future resides elsewhere on the field.
Cruickshank told Land of 10 that every team in his recruitment, including Penn State, projects him to play slot receiver. He took reps at receiver as a sophomore and may see more in 2017, but despite overall inexperience at the position, confidence is in place.
“I’m a big-play threat,” Cruickshank said “I bring quick feet, top speed, nice hands and elusiveness.”
He expects to work on that craft Sunday at The Opening’s New Jersey regional camp. It’s another weekend away from home for Cruickshank, who made his first trip to Penn State for the spring game.
“Everyone was so welcoming,” he said. “I had some very good conversations with the coaches, and we talked about a lot of things outside of football.”
Cruickshank, who lists himself 5-10, 165 pounds, received a Nittany Lions offer in February. He traveled to campus alongside Erasmus Hall teammate Matthew Jones, ranked No. 4 among defensive tackles in 247Sports’ 2018 composite rankings.
Penn State must contend with Big Ten rivals Michigan and Ohio State in both recruitments. The Nittany Lions are the only Power 5 program to host Cruickshank so far.
He intends to commit before the start of his senior season, so anticipate several campus visits in the months ahead. Cruickshank hopes to study animal science at the university of his choice.
Nittany Lions land on another 4-star prospect’s top-10 list
We alluded to Penn State’s presence on the top-10 list of coveted 2019 Texas receiver recruit Arjei Henderson in our Thursday notebook. The former Oklahoma commit isn’t alone in paring down options this week, as 4-star Ohio athlete L’Christian Smith shared his own group of 10 collegiate favorites.
— BLUE SMITH⁶? (@bluesmith_) April 27, 2017
Smith, the No. 4 athlete in 247Sports’ 2018 composite rankings, noted that list “can change” but for now it includes five Big Ten teams. Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota and Ohio State join the Nittany Lions in this crowd.
Smith is a particularly interesting recruit, as he brings basketball athleticism and a 6-6, 205-pound frame to the football field. His size and agility present options at tight end or receiver.
Penn State hasn’t been a highly publicized competitor in Smith’s recruitment thus far, and the 247Sports crystal ball identifies Kentucky and Ohio State as front-runners.