Stay updated as Penn State rises toward the top of the recruiting rankings! Don’t miss the coverage from Tyler Donohue, who brings a decade of experience as a national college football 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.
Former Tennessee commit Kendrell Scurry sets Penn State visit
Penn State will welcome former Tennessee Volunteers commit Kendrell Scurry to campus this weekend. A 4-star receiver who burst onto the college football recruiting scene as an underclassman, he revealed travel plans Monday night on Twitter:
Catch me in Pennsylvania this weekend 🔵⚪️🦁 #HypeBeast
— Kendrell Scurry (@D1Scurry) October 17, 2017
Scurry, a 6-foot-3, 185-pound junior at Independence (Thompson’s Station, Tenn.) High School, previously included the Nittany Lions among top collegiate options. He listed Penn State alongside Louisville, Miami, Ohio State and Tennessee on Oct. 1, identifying this collection as five favorites.
Considered the No. 27 receiver and a top-200 overall recruit in 247Sports 2019 composite rankings, Scurry initially pledged to Tennessee before his sophomore season. He spent approximately 10 months as a member of the Volunteers class prior to a May 30 de-commitment.
“I’ve got two more years of high school. I’m going to be on a lot more visits, going to see a lot more things,” Scurry told Barton Simmons of 247Sports at the time. “I don’t really know what’s going on. If I’m committed to one school, other schools aren’t going to want me there.”
He validated early attention, tallying 58 receptions for 977 yards and 16 touchdowns last season, according to MaxPreps. Watch highlights of Scurry’s sophomore season here:
Penn State has sights set on several 2019 receivers, extending offers to 10 players at the position. Other notable targets include Nittany Lions legacy Dean Engram, Canadian transplant John Metchie and newly offered Jake Smith, an Arizona standout who plans to visit Happy Valley.
Nittany Lions target George Karlaftis ready to commit
Let’s continue to discuss developments on the 2019 recruiting trail, shifting focus to defensive end George Karlaftis. A 6-5, 260-pound junior at West Lafayette High School in Indiana, he is a coveted commodity in Big Ten country and beyond.
Karlaftis, who landed a Penn State offer Sept. 10, intends to reveal his college choice Friday. He shared that intention Monday afternoon via Twitter:
Committing this Friday‼️🤐
— George Karlaftis III (@TheGK88) October 16, 2017
Listed 16th among strongside defensive ends in 2019 composite rankings, this 4-star prospect has the potential to slide inside and flourish at tackle during the next phase of his football career. Karlaftis’ offer sheet features Alabama, Miami, Michigan, Michigan State, Notre Dame and Ohio State.
The 247Sports crystal ball currently points toward in-state Purdue, with the Boilermakers claiming 85 percent of 13 experts’ predictions. It would be quite a feat for Purdue to beat out multiple Big Ten powers for Karlaftis, though other programs undoubtedly would continue to pursue him moving forward.
Karlaftis totaled 113 tackles — 14.5 for loss — and 11 sacks in 13 games as a sophomore, according to MaxPreps. Through nine games this season, he’s continued to assert himself, as he has 66 tackles — 8 for loss — and 8 sacks.
This output warrants the phrase Karlaftis placed in his Twitter bio: “Eat QBs for breakfast, lunch and dinner.” Don’t take my word — or his Twitter bio — for it. Here are highlights from a dominant 3-sack performance against Benton Central High School:
Nittany Lions defensive line coach Sean Spencer appears primed to sign one of college football’s finest 2018 recruiting classes, providing reinforcements for his rotation during the years ahead. Along with Karlaftis, key targets in the 2019 cycle include 5-star recruits Antonio Alfano and Zack Harrison, who’ve both visited Penn State during recent months.
Pair of Penn State pledges advance in All-America Game voting
Voting has ended for the first-round of a tournament that will decide which high school seniors claim the final two roster spots for the Under Armour All-America Game. As I noted in our Monday notebook, this competition opened with three Penn State pledges among the 32 players vying for inclusion.
Tackle Nana Asiedu, defensive tackle Aeneas Hawkins and linebacker Jesse Luketa each entered the fray, attempting to join four other Nittany Lions commits at the game, which occurs Jan. 4 in Orlando, Fla.
Receivers Shaquon Anderson-Butts and Justin Shorter, defensive tackle PJ Mustipher and running back Ricky Slade already have accepted invitations to compete in the annual showcase. Following the results of first-round voting, two classmates remain in the mix to join them.
Luketa beat out Wisconsin defensive end commit Boyd Dietzen by a 20-percent margin. The outcome was even more convincing for Hawkins, who surged to a 24-percent advantage over Minnesota defensive end pledge Alex Reigelsperger.
Meanwhile, Asiedu was eliminated by virtue of an extremely narrow outcome. He collected 49.94 percent of the vote in a matchup vs. Virginia Tech receiver commit Tre Turner.
Due to Asiedu’s absence from the Round of 16, his side of the bracket will not be represented by a Penn State commit. This means it’s down to Hawkins and Luketa to nab a roster spot, and we’ll soon learn which will advance beyond this upcoming wave of votes.
These two future teammates are pitted against each other in the second round voting, which begins 1 p.m. ET Wednesday. Past competitors at the All-America Game include Atlanta Falcons receiver Julio Jones, Jacksonville Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette and Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston.
Along with the anticipated presence of at least four, and perhaps five, Penn State commits, the game is also set to feature key upcoming moments for Nittany Lions recruiting efforts. Elite defensive end targets Jayson Oweh and Tyreke Smith plan to announce commitments during the contest, which is broadcast on ESPN2.
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