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 Sunday through Thursday, and follow us on Twitter for the latest Nittany Lions recruiting news.
Penn State a top option for 4-star OL Quinn Carroll
A Big Ten recruiting battle is brewing for Minneapolis offensive lineman Quinn Carroll. The 6-foot-6, 295-pound Edina High School junior claims more than 30 scholarship offers, but opted to trim things Wednesday afternoon.
Carroll, considered the No. 10 tackle and No. 57 overall prospect in 247Sports’ 2019 composite rankings, announced six top options. Penn State made the cut, along with conference foes Minnesota, Ohio State and Wisconsin. His list also includes Notre Dame and Virginia Tech.
“I’m truly grateful to every school that has offered me a scholarship, and it’s been an honor getting to know every coach who has recruited me,” Carroll tweeted. “That said, after much prayer and many conversations with my family, these are the six programs that I will be considering moving forward.”
Carroll began receiving offers as a sophomore. Penn State didn’t hesitate to offer, entering this pursuit in January 2017. His range of collegiate options grew to include schools such as Alabama, Auburn, Florida State, Miami, Michigan, Oklahoma and Southern Cal.
He has family ties to a pair of these finalists. His father, Jay Carroll, played tight end at Minnesota. His brother, Collin Carroll, was a Virginia Tech long-snapper.
Gophers coach P.J. Fleck used a helicopter to attend one of Carroll’s games last season, according to Jim Paulson. Minnesota welcomed him to campus last weekend for a junior day event, and the program is primed to put up a strong fight vs. three Big Ten opponents that battled for a conference title in 2017.
Among 21 offensive linemen in the 2019 class who’ve landed a Nittany Lions offer, 19 are labeled 4- or 5-star talents. Other priority tackle targets include Devontae Dobbs (Belleville, Mich.), Xavier Truss (Warwick, R.I.) and Darnell Wright (Huntington, W.V.).
Watch Carroll’s junior season highlights here:
Lions LB target Andre White sees recruitment rise
The West Coast has been kind to Harrisburg (Pa.) High School junior Andre White. Viewed among Pennsylvania’s most impressive prep players, his recruitment has officially expanded coast-to-coast.
He journeyed to the San Francisco 49ers facilities last weekend for a regional camp on The Opening circuit. White earned linebacker MVP honors, validating a cross-country trip and following in the footsteps of former teammate Micah Parsons as a premier performer in high-profile showcase settings.
The 6-3, 217-pound prospect will again compete at The Opening’s upcoming regional camps in Los Angeles (Sunday) and New Jersey (April 8). He’s presently maximizing time in California, visiting campuses at Cal, UCLA and USC.
Before parting ways with the Trojans, White picked up his latest offer:
After a great visit today I’m honored to say I have received an offer from the University of Southern California!🌴 pic.twitter.com/x6vGA0XhHI
— Dré (@andrewhite32) March 7, 2018
“It was definitely a shock, and definitely something I’m proud of to earn that,” he told Greg Pickel of PennLive. “I did not expect that so I’m excited about it, and pretty much everything, all of it was nice; the facility looked good, and everything was great at the visit.”
White reached a double-digit offers Feb. 28 when Maryland entered the mix. West Virginia pushed the total to 12 universities on Wednesday. It wouldn’t surprise to see him enter his senior season with more than 20 college options.
Penn State added him to the 2019 target board in mid-December. The Nittany Lions signed Harrisburg players in each of the past two recruiting cycles (Parsons and defensive lineman Damion Barber), and White attended a junior day in State College last month.
Continued interest from beyond state borders should make this recruitment increasingly compelling, though these programs face a difficult task in prying White away from James Franklin and Nittany Lions defensive coordinator Brent Pry.
“Penn State is still high, I just want to see other schools,” he told Pickel.
White led Harrisburg with 87 tackles in 2017, tallying 10 tackles for loss and 3 sacks. Watch his highlights here:
Will SEC offers alter finalists for 4-star athlete Ronald Thompkins?
Developments in college football recruiting routinely remind us everything is subject to change. The program that leads in March may not make a top-5 list in May, while de-commitments seemingly occur every day.
Earlier this week, Grayson (Loganville, Ga.) High School junior Ronald Thompkins revealed his four finalists: Mississippi State, Penn State, Southern Cal and Tennessee. Less than 36 hours later, he reported offers from Alabama and LSU.
Those are potential perception-altering offers this early in a recruiting cycle and no one could hold it against Thompkins if he opts to reassess his list of potential landing spots. Considered a 4-star recruit and the No. 30 athlete in 2019 composite rankings, the 5-11, 195-pound standout previously spent four months committed to Florida State.
Thompkins, who could potentially play defensive back, receiver or running back depending on his destination, lamented about moving too fast toward that decision.
“I just rushed things and I just want to take a look at more schools,” he told Rivals’ Chad Simmons following his Sept. 24 de-commitment.
At the very least, these new offers may convince Thompkins to explore more opportunities and avoid another verbal pledge until all resources are exhausted. Tennessee has emerged as a legitimate contender since the arrival of coach Jeremy Pruitt, and it’s clear Penn State faces serious competition from SEC squads.
Regarding the Nittany Lions, much will depend on whether Thompkins intends to visit Happy Valley. He is one of six Grayson juniors who hold a Penn State offer.
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