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 a 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 to host 4-star CB Ken Montgomery before signing day
Nearly six months ago, cornerback Ken Montgomery previewed his college commitment during a conversation with Land of 10. The Hillsborough (Tampa, Fla.) High School standout selected UCLA on July 27, less than two weeks after cancelling a scheduled visit to Penn State’s Lasch Bash event because of what he called personal reasons.
The Nittany Lions, then well underway with a mid-summer pledge spree, collected verbal commitments from a pair of defensive backs in July: fellow Tampa area cornerback Jordan Miner and Philadelphia safety Isheem Young.
Miner signed with Penn State in December, while the program and Young parted ways following off-field issues. Now, with National Signing Day (Feb. 7) nearing, Montgomery has seemingly resurfaced on the Nittany Lions’ 2018 recruiting landscape.
RELATED: 2018 Penn State recruiting big board
The 6-foot-2, 160-pound prospect reopened his recruitment on Halloween, de-committing from a Bruins coaching staff that was ultimately relieved of its duties before Thanksgiving. Montgomery, still considering at least four schools, plans to visit a pair of Big Ten programs before announcing his final decision.
He confirmed with Land of 10 on Tuesday morning that official visits are set for Maryland (Jan. 26-28) and Penn State (Feb. 2-4). This development was first reported by Corey Bender of 247Sports.
Though we haven’t addressed his name much here since before the 2017 season, Montgomery described sustained attention from the Nittany Lions.
“Penn State started recruiting me in the beginning of my junior year and was always in contact with me even when I was committed,” he told Land of 10.
Montgomery hasn’t yet visited Happy Valley so this anticipated trip presents a compelling, and unexpected, storyline to monitor moving forward. He will reveal his decision on signing day, just a few days after returning home from State College.
Considered the No. 30 cornerback and a top-300 overall recruit in 247Sports 2018 composite rankings, Montgomery mentioned four contenders Tuesday. Along with Penn State and Maryland, he lists Louisville and Nebraska as schools of interest.
The Nittany Lions carry 23 players in a class that will finish in the top 10 nationally in composite rankings, including 22 athletes who signed early and six who enrolled at the university this month. Receiver Solomon Enis and tackle Rasheed Walker have warranted the most attention among remaining uncommitted targets, though a Jan. 11 offer to 4-star safety Julius Irvin suggests Penn State isn’t content with its three-prospect haul in the secondary.
It remains uncertain, at least publicly, how many players Penn State can include in this class. The result may be a wait-and-see approach in regard to Montgomery, though he is confident a commitment would be accepted.
“I feel like there would be a spot for me because of the relationship we have,” Montgomery said.
Stay tuned for updates here, as it wouldn’t surprise if Penn State opts to target additional defensive backs down the stretch of this recruiting cycle. Watch Montgomery’s senior-season highlights here:
Nittany Lions enter chase for 5-star Hawaii DT Faatui Tuitele
Faatui Tuitele figures to be among the most widely pursued 2019 defensive prospects, evidenced by offers last week from Florida, Georgia and LSU. The 6-4, 300-pound tackle added Penn State to his collection Monday, pushing his scholarship total closer to 30.
Tuitele, considered the No. 2 defensive tackle and a 5-star recruit in 247Sports 2019 composite rankings, attends St. Louis (Honolulu) High School. This South Pacific powerhouse previously produced eventual college football standouts such as Heisman Trophy winner Marcus Mariota, breakout Alabama Crimson Tide star Tua Tagovailoa, All-Pro NFL lineman Olin Kreutz and former FBS career passing yardage leader Timmy Chang.
Tuitele emerged as a need-to-know college football recruit during his sophomore season, securing offers from Clemson, Notre Dame, Ole Miss and Stanford by summer 2017. Penn State joins Wisconsin as Big Ten teams in pursuit, though that list is likely to expand.
The Nittany Lions haven’t shied away from long-distance recruitments while targeting 2019 defensive tackles. Fellow 5-star recruit Ishmael Sopsher (Amite, La.) has shown serious interest in Penn State, while other priorities include Tyler Davis (Apopka, Fla.), Rodas Johnson (Columbus, Ohio) and Mazi Smith (Grand Rapids, Mich.).
Watch Tuitele’s latest highlights here:
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