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.
Elite OT Paris Johnson, ex-teammate of Penn State QB, nabs offer
Put Penn State on the list of college football programs swarming to St. Xavier (Cincinnati) High School for 2020 prospect Paris Johnson. The sophomore lineman is among America’s most rapidly rising recruits in his class, as further evidenced by his Notre Dame offer Tuesday.
The Nittany Lions entered this chase Wednesday afternoon as the 6-foot-7, 275-pound Johnson tweeted news of an offer from Penn State. That puts his offer list near 20.
Aside from opportunities at Penn State and Notre Dame, his sheet includes Clemson, Michigan, Michigan State and Ohio State. His recruitment started to really explode in December and isn’t likely to slow down anytime soon.
James Franklin was in the Cincinnati area Wednesday and it’s no surprise he had eyes on the St. Xavier standout.
RELATED: 2018 Penn State recruiting big board
Johnson is a lean, powerful prospect who exhibits outstanding athleticism and coordination for a player of his physical stature. His length and agility create a potent combination that points toward the projection of a multi-year left tackle at the highest level of college football.
When recruiting-industry rankings for 2020 are revealed with widespread releases, it’s fair to anticipate Johnson will be a 5-star prospect and near the top of that list when assessed among peers. He joins Anton Harrison (Washington, D.C.) and Chris Morris (Memphis, Tenn.) on Penn State’s 2020 OT target board.
Johnson has a personal connection to the Nittany Lions roster, as well. He is a former teammate of Penn State freshman quarterback Sean Clifford, who helped lead St. Xavier to a state championship in 2016.
Watch 2017 highlights of Johnson here:
James Franklin checks in on Cincinnati TE prospect Erick All
Franklin stayed busy in the Cincinnati area Wednesday, swinging by Fairfield High School for a closer look at a compelling tight end prospect. Erick All, a 6-4, 215-pound junior, has added offers from Indiana, Kent State and Bowling Green since Jan. 10.
He is at the very least on Penn State’s radar. Fairfield coach Jason Krause tweeted Wednesday afternoon that Franklin stopped by the school to “evaluate” All, whose Power 5 offers include Kentucky, Rutgers and Syracuse.
At this stage in his career, All physically looks more like a receiver than a tight end prospect. That’s fairly common among college recruits, however, with Penn State star Mike Gesicki and 2018 Nittany Lions signee Zack Kuntz serving as recent examples.
His 2017 season highlights (below) show a smooth downfield runner who can exploit single coverage out wide or attack opponents across the middle. He displays a willingness to block and does a nice job sustaining those efforts deep into plays.
Junior Season Highlights
Penn State has reached double-digit offer totals at most positions in the 2019 recruiting cycle but tight end features the lowest volume of targets (two). The Nittany Lions extended a pair of offers last May, both Austin Stogner has since committed to Oklahoma and Hudson Henry, an Arkansas native with deep family ties to the Razorbacks football program, is highly pursued as the class’ No. 1 tight end recruit.
Franklin landed two top-10 prospects at the position this winter. Kuntz is already on campus as an early enrollee, while Pat Freiermuth will arrive in State College this summer.
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