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Jayson Oweh ready to chase championships at Penn State
Jayson Oweh no longer needs to answer questions about his college plans. The top-10 defensive end prospect went public with a Penn State pick Thursday night during the Under Armour All-America Game, nearly two weeks after silently signing with the program Dec. 22.
“It feels so good to get all this weight off my shoulders,” Oweh told Land of 10 afterward. “I’m a Nittany Lion. It feels so good, so good.”
The 6-foot-5, 240-pound Blair Academy (Blairstown, N.J.) senior declared his decision at Camping World Stadium in Orlando during a national television broadcast. He is the 22nd signed member of a Nittany Lions class ranked No. 4 overall in 2018 composite rankings.
RELATED: 2018 Penn State recruiting big board
Though he was publicly choosing between Penn State and Ohio State, a verdict was reached during college football’s early signing period. Oweh, who visited Happy Valley five times during his recruiting process, opted to send in a letter of intent to James Franklin on the final day of that window, solidifying his collegiate fate well in advance of the All-America Game.
His other scholarship offers included Alabama, Florida, Miami, Michigan, Nebraska and Notre Dame.
If the addition of an elite, high-potential prospect wasn’t enough to elevate the heart rate of Penn State fans, his comments immediately afterward probably did the trick.
“We’re going to win it all next year,” Oweh said during an ESPN2 interview after putting on a Penn State hat.
— Blair Athletics (@blairbucs) January 5, 2018
Oweh, who secured 13 sacks in five games as a senior, started playing football in 2016. He quickly emerged as a premier prospect last spring, and Penn State entered the mix by extending an offer in April.
Consistent dialogue and a budding relationship with Nittany Lions defensive line coach Sean Spencer helped separate the program in a crowded chase. Oweh also used official visits to Michigan and Ohio State, but said it became clear that he wanted to continue his career in State College as December progressed.
Now that the dust is beginning to settle and he’s no longer fielding inquiries about his recruitment from coaches and reporters, Oweh has shifted his focus forward. During our conversation on the field Thursday night, he wanted to send an optimistic message to Penn State supporters.
“I’m here to stay, we’re here to win,” he said. “Big Ten championship, that’s first, and then we’re winning a national championship next. We’re coming.”
You can watch that entire interview here:
Ran into this guy on the field and he's pretty excited, with good reason!
— Tyler Donohue (@TDsTake) January 5, 2018
Impressive pack of ‘Wild Dogs’ provides reload in trenches
The signing of Oweh, and his ensuing announcement, probably wraps up Penn State’s 2018 recruiting ambitions in the defensive trenches. The Nittany Lions have assembled an impressive group, featuring dynamic athletes who could contribute in a variety of roles during their years in Happy Valley.
“It’s an amazing feeling because when you win up in the trenches, that’s when you win national championships and Big Ten titles,” top-10 defensive tackle prospect PJ Mustipher said. “That’s what Penn State is trying to accomplish, and I think they’re doing very well.”
Mustipher also attended the Under Armour All-America Game. He committed in August, a few days prior to the acquisition of standout Cincinnati tackle Aeneas Hawkins. Judge Culpepper, who is capable of playing outside or inside on the defensive front, pledged to Penn State on July 14.
Like Oweh, each of those athletes locked in their plans during the early signing period.
“We’re dogs, man. We’re wild dogs,” Oweh said.
Wild Dog reload complete…. Now they deal with us. #WeAre
— Aeneas Hawkins (@AeneasHawkins) January 5, 2018
Though Micah Parsons will begin his college career at middle linebacker, there is a reason he is considered a 5-star defensive end prospect. Expect him to play an enormous role in pass-rush situations.
“I have the ability to speed rush, dominate my opponent and hold down my side of the field,” Parsons said in April.
Oweh believes they’ll be able to help each other while attacking opponents.
“Micah is a freak. … he’s so versatile he can play wherever he wants to,” Oweh said. “It’s good for me, too, because obviously it would give me more reps.”
He also established a strong relationship with Mustipher during the past year. Now he’s excited to get to work with him in a Nittany Lions uniform.
“He’s unguardable, I’m unguardable, so I don’t know what [the offense] would do,” Oweh said.
Spencer is set to return key impact players such as Shareef Miller, Shane Simmons and Shaka Toney, along with second-year players Yetur Gross-Matos, Fred Hansard and Corey Bolds. An infusion of top-tier talent will further increase competition and accountability.
“Coach Chaos [Spencer] always talks about building the best defensive line in the country,” Mustipher said. “I think that’s exactly what he’s going to do.”
Yes sir!!! Wild Dogs Reload 2k18 pic.twitter.com/2A1LlD4aKw
— Sean Spencer (@SpenceChaos) January 5, 2018