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QB Garrett Shrader joins forces with former Lions offensive coordinator Joe Moorhead
Former Penn State play caller Joe Moorhead made a major recruiting splash at Mississippi State on Tuesday, securing a commitment from quarterback Garrett Shrader. The 2019 prospect reached his decision after strongly considering the Nittany Lions and South Carolina, according to 247Sports’ Steve Wiltfong.
Shrader, a 6-foot-5, 200-pound junior at Charlotte (N.C.) Christian High School, visited each of his three top options in March. He journeyed to Penn State last week, and previously visited Happy Valley for the Nittany Lions’ Oct. 21 victory over Michigan and a July 2017 camp.
During that camp, Shrader took substantial reps under the supervision of Moorhead, who was approaching his second season as Penn State’s offensive coordinator. Mississippi State introduced Moorhead as its head coach on Nov. 29, leading to an internal promotion for Nittany Lions assistant Ricky Rahne.
Shrader received a scholarship offer from the Bulldogs only a few days after Moorhead moved to a new campus. Now, four months later, the dual-threat talent has decided to join him at Mississippi State.
Penn State picked up a commitment from New Jersey quarterback Taquan Roberson on Oct. 26, but remains persistent in pursuing other players at the position. Shrader and Taisun Phommachanh (Avon, Conn.) stood out among targets, and both visited in March.
Shrader, who also claims offers from Alabama, Florida, Nebraska, Ole Miss and Tennessee, completed 66 percent of pass attempts for 4,866 yards and 53 touchdowns during the last two seasons, according to MaxPreps. He also shined as a runner, collected 791 yards and 10 scores on the ground in 2017 en route to a NCISAA Division 1 state title.
Familiarity with Moorhead played a vital role in this recruitment, and it makes you wonder if Penn State would’ve landed a commitment from Shrader months ago if its offensive staff remained intact.
“[Garrett] developed a relationship with Coach Moorhead and he really likes him,” Tracey Shrader, Garrett’s father, told SEC Country’s Hale McGranahan. “His offense fits him. Seeing [Penn State quarterback] Trace McSorley, he runs and he throws and Garrett’s bigger than him and he runs faster than him. That kind of intrigues [Garrett] a little bit.”
Moorhead located a quality piece for the future he intends to build in Starkville, while Penn State’s efforts to add a second quarterback commit must continue elsewhere.
Alabama Crimson Tide offer pair of Penn State targets
Mississippi State isn’t the only SEC squad that recently added a former Nittany Lions coach. Alabama hired longtime James Franklin assistant Josh Gattis, who served as Penn State’s receivers coach and offensive recruiting coordinator, in January.
The influence of Gattis on the Tide’s recruiting efforts has been apparent at times, including an offer to top-ranked 2020 receiver Julian Fleming (Catawissa, Pa.) that was sent out soon after his hiring. This again appeared to be the case Monday when Alabama offered a pair of established Penn State targets.
Alabama entered the mix for Lackawanna (Pa.) College defensive back Jaquan Brisker and St. James School (Hagerstown, Md.) receiver John Metchie. Both prospects landed on the Nittany Lions’ 2019 recruiting board last year.
Brisker, a Gateway (Monroeville, Pa.) High School graduate, is considered the No. 1 safety in 247Sports’ junior college rankings. Penn State routinely turns its attention toward Lackawanna for compelling prospects and did so again in November by offering Brisker, whose options also include Maryland, Mississippi State, Pittsburgh and West Virginia.
Metchie, a Canadian transplant who secured his Penn State offer while attending a July 16 camp in Happy Valley, saw his recruiting stock rise this winter. Michigan, Nebraska, Notre Dame and Syracuse are among other programs that have joined the pursuit since January.
Penn State has signed a player from Ontario, Canada, in each of its past three recruiting class, and aims to maintain the trend with Metchie. Nittany Lions freshman linebacker and Ottawa native Jesse Luketa, who also took a proactive path by transferring to an American prep school, referred to Metchie as a brother figure when Franklin offered last summer.
Alabama coach Nick Saban signed seven consecutive No. 1 overall recruiting classes before the Crimson Tide finished seventh in 247Sports’ 2018 National Signing Day rankings. Needless to say, Saban has a way of shaking up recruitments when he enters them. The role of Gattis in Tuscaloosa adds another interesting wrinkle to possible battles vs. Alabama.
Nittany Lions listed among favorites for 4-star DE Khris Bogle
Penn State is aiming high in the Sunshine State this recruiting cycle, and one of Florida’s premier prospects placed the program on his shortened list Saturday night. Khris Bogle, a versatile 4-star defender, included the Nittany Lions in a collection of 14 contenders.
Bogle tweeted the list, which cuts his recruitment down from more than 40 schools.
Along with Penn State, this 6-4, 207-pound edge rusher identified the following universities as those still under consideration: Alabama, Clemson, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, LSU, Miami, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Oregon, Southern Cal, Tennessee and Texas A&M.
It could prove difficult for any program to pry Bogle away from in-state options. Considered the No. 5 weakside defensive end and a top-100 overall recruit in composite rankings, he enjoyed a dominant junior campaign.
Bogle totaled 70 tackles, including 23 for loss, and 13.5 sacks in 2017, according to MaxPreps.
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