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Penn State targets new prospects during busy weekend
Penn State coaches continue to log extensive travel miles while visiting and assessing the next wave of high school seniors. The 2018 recruiting cycle wraps up Feb. 7, when James Franklin aims to put the finishing touches on a top-10 class, but substantial focus has been gravitating toward 2019 prospects for several months.
The Nittany Lions were particularly active in that department this past weekend, extending six scholarship offers to high school juniors. Penn State remains concentrated on a nationwide scale, as each new target resided beyond Pennsylvania borders. Only two 2019 in-state prospects carry a Nittany Lions offer, including committed cornerback Keaton Ellis.
RELATED: 2018 Penn State recruiting big board
These latest efforts seem to reflect the arrival of running backs coach Ju’Juan Seider, as the former Florida Gators assistant has established relationships that undoubtedly played a role in Penn State’s decisions.
“Seider was born and raised in Belle Glade, Fla., and has strong recruiting ties throughout South Florida,” Zach Abolverdi, SEC Country’s Gators recruiting analyst, told Land of 10 on Friday. “He was an assistant coach for four years at West Virginia, his alma mater, and was able to land several prospects from Florida. He should be able to have a similar impact at Penn State, especially with the program’s recent success.”
South Florida is where you’ll find four of these new additions to the Nittany Lions’ 2019 board. The other two attend school in Maryland and Virginia, part of the “DMV” region that has consistently produced key Penn State players.
Here is a rundown and video highlights of the six athletes who landed offers between Friday and Sunday.
High school: Lloyd C. Bird (Chesterfield, Va.)
Size: 6-foot-4, 250 pounds
247Sports composite ranking: No. 30 athlete; No. 325 overall
Other notable offers: Alabama, North Carolina (committed to Tar Heels), South Carolina, Virginia Tech
High school: DeMatha Catholic (Hyattsville, Md.)
Size: 6-1, 203 pounds
247Sports composite ranking: No. 25 safety; No. 374 overall
High school: Chaminade-Madonna (Hollywood, Fla.)
Size: 6-2, 172 pounds
247Sports composite ranking: No. 25 receiver; No. 135 overall
Other notable offers: Arkansas, Auburn, Florida (formerly committed to the Gators), Notre Dame
High school: The Benjamin School (North Palm Beach, Fla.)
Size: 6-1, 177 pounds
247Sports composite ranking: No. 11 cornerback; No. 150 overall
Other notable offers: Auburn, Florida, Georgia, Miami
High school: Wellington (West Palm Beach, Fla.)
Size: 6-1, 194 pounds
247Sports composite ranking: No. 8 athlete; No. 95 overall
Other notable offers: Florida, Georgia, Miami, Oregon
High school: South Dade (Homestead, Fla.)
Size: 6-foot, 175 pounds
247Sports composite ranking: No. 16 athlete; No. 184 overall
Other notable offers: Alabama, Clemson, Florida (formerly committed to Gators), Miami
Lions will host CB Noah Boykin before signing day
Last week, we detailed an impending Penn State official visit for 4-star cornerback Ken Montgomery (Tampa, Fla.). Another player at the position is also primed to spend time in Happy Valley this weekend, days before signing day.
Noah Boykin will journey to campus alongside his father, according to 247Sports’ Bill Kurelic. This report reveals the 4-star cornerback intends to arrive Friday before heading to Ohio State on Sunday.
These stops in State College and Columbus will occur in an unofficial capacity since he’s already used all five allotted official visits. Boykin, a senior at H.D. Woodson (Washington, D.C.) High School, utilized those trips to Florida, Maryland, Notre Dame, Southern Cal and Virginia.
Considered the No. 34 prospect at his position in the 247Sports composite rankings, he committed to Maryland on July 5. Boykin backed off that pledge last Wednesday following months of surveying alternative college options.
O-D All American Bowl Best DB Award 🤘🏾❌ pic.twitter.com/RAgadRopYV
— Guapo 💰🤑💸 (@Guap2x) December 30, 2017
It will be interesting to see how the Nittany Lions approach this situation. Penn State carries 23 players in its 2018 recruiting class, including 22 who’ve already signed, so scholarship slots are limited.
Tackle Rasheed Walker (Waldorf, Md.) and receiver Solomon Enis (Phoenix) have seemed to be the priorities since a successful early signing period. Montgomery, a former Maryland commit, will make his first trip to campus this weekend and sounds confident Penn State would accept his letter of intent.
It’s become clear the Nittany Lions are exploring the possibility of adding a fourth defensive back to this class. Penn State offered California safety Julius Irvin earlier this month, and will now host a pair of blue-chip cornerbacks during the cycle’s final weekend.
The Nittany Lions added two players to the secondary when Isaiah Humphries and Trent Gordon enrolled early, while cornerback Jordan Miner joins Penn State this summer. There is almost assuredly no realistic outcome that involves two more defensive backs, while a 2-for-2 scenario with Walker and Enis could shut the door on any additions there.
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