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5-star RB Noah Cain plans to visit Penn State after receiving offer
Penn State is spending the month of January making investments into its pursuit of 2019 prospects. The Nittany Lions added one of the country’s most coveted high school juniors to its target board Tuesday, extending a scholarship offer to running back Noah Cain.
The 5-star running back detailed his response to this development during a discussion with Land of 10. Early indications point toward Penn State becoming a contender for his commitment.
“I was excited about the offer and I will be visiting in the spring,” Cain said.
That’s a swift reaction from the IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.) junior, who previously attended Guyer High School in Denton, Texas. He is presently mapping out travel plans for the spring, so for him to already place Penn State in that itinerary speaks volumes about his initial feelings toward the program.
A noteworthy element of this recruitment will be Cain’s relationship with newly hired Nittany Lions running backs coach Ja’Juan Seider. The 5-foot-11, 207-pound playmaker previously developed communication with him when Seider served on the Florida Gators staff.
“He keeps it real all of the time and doesn’t sugarcoat anything,” Cain said.
Seider helped the Gators sign a pair of blue-chip 2018 running back recruits in December despite a rough offensive season in Gainesville. Meanwhile, Penn State signed 5-star prospect Ricky Slade at the position and is in aggressive pursuit of top 2019 talents.
RELATED: 2018 Penn State recruiting big board
Cain, considered the No. 2 running back and No. 19 overall recruit in 247Sports’ 2019 composite rankings, has offers from Clemson, Florida State, Georgia, LSU, Miami and Oklahoma, among others.
When Land of 10 caught up with him earlier this month at an Under Armour All-America event, he singled out Ohio State as a program that had separated itself from the pack. Cain plans to attend an upcoming junior day at Auburn, according to Benjamin Wolk of SEC Country.
Though he won’t use any official visits this spring — a new facet of the college football recruiting calendar for high school juniors — it’s a pivotal stretch of time for his decision-making process. Cain plans to release a top-five list this summer before embarking on official visits during the season.
Cain, who rushed for 3,290 yards (8.1 per carry) and 38 touchdowns during his first three high school seasons, according to MaxPreps, will enroll early at a university in January 2019. He intends to “earn the starting job” upon arrival.
It didn’t take long for Penn State’s most recent starting running back to claim a leading role in the backfield. Saquon Barkley, now preparing for the 2018 NFL Draft, starred in each of his three seasons and finished his final Nittany Lions campaign 2,329 all-purpose yards.
As you would expect, James Franklin and his staff hope to parlay that success into an impact during conversations with recruits. This was the case during Seider’s opening pitch to Cain on behalf of Penn State.
“He said they want a workhorse back like Saquon,” Cain said. “I followed Saquon a lot this year and I loved the way they put the offense around him.”
Penn State offered another premier running back prospect on Wednesday. The Nittany Lions added MarShawn Lloyd to a rapidly expanding 2020 target board and we’ll have more details on the DeMatha Catholic (Hyattsville, Md.) sophomore in our Thursday notebook.
Nittany Lions go all-in on fertile Florida recruiting turf
Cain isn’t alone as a Florida high school standout receiving Penn State interest. In our notebook Monday, we documented and detailed four Sunshine State prospects who secured Nittany Lions offers last weekend.
That list has grown longer in recent days. Spearheaded by Seider, a Palm Beach County native with an established track record on the South Florida recruiting trail, Penn State is hitting the area hard.
— Sean Spencer (@SpenceChaos) January 31, 2018
As of Wednesday afternoon, the Nittany Lions have offered five more Florida recruits since Monday.
Cain is one of three new targets from IMG Academy, which draws top talent from far beyond the region. Former Nittany Lions quarterback Michael O’Connor attended the school, as did current freshman Penn State receiver KJ Hamler.
Offensive linemen Dontae Lucas and Even Neal also land on the Nittany Lions’ radar. Their size and offer sheets provide perspective on the kind of offensive front Cain will run behind in 2018.
Lucas is a 6-3, 323-pound prospect who holds offers from Alabama, Florida State, Georgia and Miami, among other programs. Neal, chased by each of those schools along with LSU, Michigan, Oklahoma, USC and several more, checks in at 6-7, 378 pounds.
Lucas, who spent the 2017 season at Miami High School, expressed favoritism for his hometown Hurricanes during a November interview with DieHards’ David Wilson.
“Miami—it’s the home team,” he said. “They’ve got to be at the top. They’re always at the top.”
Penn State’s ambitions to execute recruiting plans in the state will undoubtedly require battles against Florida’s college teams. Miami carries a commitment from 6-5, 310-pound West Palm Beach offensive lineman Renato Brown, who secured a Nittany Lions offer Wednesday.
Sanguinetti, who provides potential at both receiver and defensive back, starred while lined up in the secondary during Under Armour All-America drills in Orlando, Fla. earlier this month. His length (6-2, 165 pounds), athleticism and downfield anticipation blend to create a college-ready talent who can compete at safety or cornerback.
Ladson’s length is also a key reason why he carries nearly 30 offers. He displays excellent speed at 6-4, 170 pounds, and averaged 22 yards per reception in 2017. Watch his highlights here:
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