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2019 DB target Lewis Cine says Penn State leads his recruitment
Prized Massachusetts prospect Lewis Cine carries nearly 30 scholarship offers midway through his junior year at Everett High School. While he sorts through an array of options, one university stands out: Penn State.
“Penn State is definitely on the top of my list,” Cine told Land of 10 on Thursday afternoon.
Fresh off sending coaches to his school, that’s an enviable place to be for the Nittany Lions.
Cine, a 6-foot-2, 180-pound recruit, most recently received offers from Georgia, Nebraska, Ohio State and Ole Miss. His complete sheet features Florida, Michigan, Notre Dame, Tennessee and Wisconsin.
Considered the No. 3 safety and No. 35 overall player in 247Sports 2019 composite rankings, Cine is among the country’s most coveted defensive backs. Penn State extended an offer Aug. 2, two weeks after he attended a team-hosted camp.
Cine said he was “blown away” by his visit in mid-July and it was clear that the Nittany Lions would be a legitimate contender moving forward.
RELATED: 2018 Penn State recruiting big board
A native of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., he returned to Penn State in September. Cine attended the Nittany Lions’ 45-14 victory over Indiana. Again, he left Happy Valley feeling positive vibes.
“That one game made a big impression. I was not expecting all of that,” he explained. “The crowd was so live, the stadium was bigger than I expected, and the coaches kept it 100 with me about what I can do for the program. Mostly, I got the family feel there that I didn’t get from other schools.”
It would be Cine’s only campus visit anywhere during the 2017 season. He’ll return to the recruiting trail this month with upcoming visits to North Carolina and Virginia Tech.
Regardless of where Cine travels this winter, he is confident about where things stand with Penn State.
“I’m their No. 1 priority,” he said.
Nittany Lions defensive secondary coaches Tim Banks and Terry Smith helped solidify that sentiment Wednesday when they visited Everett. Their discussion with Cine centered on the program’s desire to invest in him long-term.
“They like the type of player I am and the type of person I am,” he said. “These coaches are not just going to offer me based on what they see on film. They do background checks, talk to people about me, see what type of student I am in the classroom, and they say I check on all those boxes. I’m the type of player they want in their program.”
Cine intends to use all five official visits and “enjoy the process” but plans to be selective with his travel agenda.
“I want to use them wisely,” he said.
A verbal commitment could come before his senior season. Cine will finalize a decision in December during the early signing period, then enroll at the university of his choice in January 2019.
So how firm is Penn State’s status as the leader of a crowded recruitment?
“They definitely have a good grip,” he said.
Cine helped lead Everett to an unbeaten state championship season, affirming his status as one of New England’s premier players.
“I grew a lot from a leadership perspective,” he said. “I kept the same mindset to go out there and make plays, hit, go for the ball, all that stuff, but I became more of a leader for the team. Calling out the plays for my teammates, telling them what kind of coverage, and growing as a leader.”
Fellow Massachusetts standout Pat Freiermuth, a 2018 Nittany Lions signee at tight end, hopes to see Penn State’s northern pipeline deliver again next cycle.
“I talk to Lewis a bunch and he’s a really good kid. Hopefully he commits to the family,” Freiermuth said.
Pair of Penn State signees in top 10 in final 247Sports rankings
The assessment of 2018 recruits has concluded for 247Sports, which annually unveils a final Top 247 list leading up to National Signing Day. This latest installment is led by 5-star quarterbacks Trevor Lawrence (Clemson signee) and Justin Fields (Georgia signee; former Penn State commit) at Nos. 1 and 2, respectively.
The Nittany Lions are one of four programs represented by a pair of top-10 overall talents. Penn State, Clemson, Georgia and Southern California each carry this distinction.
Micah Parsons, already enrolled at the university and vying for middle linebacker duties, finished fifth in these rankings. Justin Shorter, who spent more time pledged to Penn State than any prospect prior to signing on Dec. 20, ended up seventh nationally and No. 1 among receivers.
Took an opportunity to re-watch @JustinShorter15's senior-season film.
A 6-4, 220-pound WR shouldn't be able to run routes/create separation off snap like this. Dude is different.
I know this is lofty, but a similar outcome to my 2007 evaluation of Julio Jones in high school… pic.twitter.com/DZPODyYkiu
— Tyler Donohue (@TDsTake) January 16, 2018
Fellow incoming Nittany Lions receiver Daniel George landed at No. 229 overall (No. 36 receiver). First-year Nittany Lions offensive coordinator Ricky Rahne also will work with Top 247 prospects Ricky Slade (No. 62 overall; No. 1 all-purpose back), Zack Kuntz (No. 111 overall; No. 4 tight end) and Nana Asiedu (No. 135 overall; No. 11 tackle).
Aside from Parsons, top-ranked defensive signees include Jayson Oweh (No. 71 overall; No. 4 strongside defensive end), PJ Mustipher (No. 85; No. 6 defensive tackle) and Nick Tarburton (No. 212 overall; No. 11 inside linebacker).
The composite 2018 recruit rankings will be finalized before Feb. 7, factoring in evaluations from other industry leaders. Penn State signed 13 players who are considered 4- or 5-star prospects, and is in position to add at least one or two more recruits of that caliber in the coming weeks.
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