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Penn State adds two prospects to top of 2019 tight end board
The Penn State coaching staff continues a coordinated effort to search America for the most talented high school underclassmen during spring evaluation. This extensive effort led the Nittany Lions to offer scholarships to two elite tight end recruits Wednesday.
Hudson Henry and Austin Stogner — both considered top-three tight end prospects in 247Sports’ 2019 rankings — added Penn State to steadily expanding offer sheets. These rising juniors shared the news via Twitter:
— Austin Stogner (@austin_stogner) May 17, 2017
I am excited to announce that I have received my 4th offer from Penn St. University! pic.twitter.com/4CobikhnSy
— Hudson Henry (@hudsonhenry84) May 17, 2017
Stogner, whose father played tight end at Baylor, holds 24 offers. Big Ten programs have paid plenty of attention to the Prestonwood Christian Academy (Plano, Texas) standout this month.
The Nittany Lions joined Iowa, Michigan and Ohio State as teams to enter the mix in May.
“It’s been a little overwhelming but it’s all good,” Stogner told Land of 10. “It’s a blessing to have all these colleges looking at me.”
The 6-foot-6, 235-pound prospect began receiving offers midway through the 2016 season. Baylor, Florida, LSU, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Tennessee and Texas A&M are among his early options.
Stogner is listed No. 3 among tight ends and No. 63 overall in 247Sports’ 2019 rankings. He explained that his development as a complete package at the position played a pivotal role in his swift ascent as a national recruit.
“I have the versatility to make plays outside or inside, and block,” he said. “I hit people hard and do my job [as a run blocker]. I think my strongest attribute is what I can do in the passing game.”
Stogner averaged 21 yards per reception as a sophomore, per MaxPreps, finishing the fall with 5 touchdown catches in 11 games. He also lined up at defensive end, recording 42 tackles — 13 for loss — and 8 sacks.
Despite his massive frame at a young age, Stogner prides himself on development as a downfield pass target who uses coordination and technique to do damage. He trains with former Oklahoma Sooners WR David Robinson, who works with several NFL players.
Continued advancement as a pass target is key for his collegiate progression.
“While I’m looking at college teams, the way they use the tight end is big,” Stogner said. “I want to make sure they’re running routes and catching passes, not just blocking the whole time like an extra lineman.”
Penn State TE Mike Gesicki set program records for receptions and receiving yards in 2016. His backup, Jonathan Holland, led all Nittany Lions with 8 catches in the spring game last month.
Stogner hopes to visit Happy Valley at some point, though he’s still piecing together travel plans. Iowa State offered Thursday, and a steady stream of new opportunities could make it difficult to fit several campuses in his summer itinerary.
Texas A&M will host him June 4, followed by a June 11 trip to Notre Dame. Stogner said he may attempt to visit Michigan and Ohio State in conjunction with that journey to South Bend, Ind., though nothing is set in stone.
Florida State is also set to welcome him into town at some point this summer.
Penn State tight ends coach Ricky Rahne visited Prestonwood Christian Academy on Wednesday. Just a few hours later, he formally offered Stogner during a phone conversation.
“He said I was the first tight end in 2019 that they offered,” Stogner said.
Soon after, the Nittany Lions added Henry to the board.
The 6-5, 225-pound playmaker sits at No. 2 among tight ends and No. 26 overall in 247Sports’ composite rankings. He is the younger brother of Los Angeles Chargers TE Hunter Henry, who played at Arkansas.
His father, Mark, also played for the Razorbacks, while another brother, Hayden, signed with Arkansas in the 2017 recruiting cycle. The Razorbacks offered Hudson a scholarship in February, followed by recent offers from Ole Miss and Stanford.
Henry attends Pulaski Academy in Little Rock, Ark. He caught 28 passes for 311 yards and 3 scores in 2016, according to MaxPreps.
Penn State carries a pair of top-10 tight end pledges in its 2018 recruiting class: Pat Freiermuth of Massachusetts and in-state prospect Zack Kuntz.
The position is clearly a focal point for the Nittany Lions offensive attack, and early efforts with 2019 talents such as Henry and Stogner indicate that should remain the same during seasons ahead.
Versatile Ohio LB Brian Asamoah plans return visit to Happy Valley
Brian Asamoah is an extremely popular prospect in Big Ten territory. He carries offers from Indiana, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Penn State, Rutgers and Wisconsin.
Among nearly 30 total offers, the Nittany Lions continue to stand out as a top option. Asamoah, a 6-1, 210-pound linebacker from St. Francis De Sales High School in Columbus, Ohio, spent time in State College last month.
He attended the program’s spring game April 22 and was identified as a top target by multiple Penn State pledges in attendance. Asamoah, an impressive athlete who covers a lot of ground on defense, added 651 rushing yards and 8 touchdowns as a running back last season, per MaxPreps.
His summer travel plans include another journey to Penn State, he told Land of 10. Asamoah said he’s “trying to settle between two dates” but coach James Franklin can expect to see him back on campus in the upcoming months.
— Brian Asamoah (@b_moah211) April 22, 2017
Along with the Nittany Lions, Asamoah shared a wide range of collegiate interests. He mentioned Cincinnati, Kentucky, Michigan, Oklahoma, Pittsburgh, UCLA and West Virginia as other targeted visits.
Considered the No. 38 outside linebacker in 247Sports’ 2018 composite rankings, Asamoah may eventually add to a Penn State linebacker class that already includes Charlie Katshir, Jesse Luketa and Nick Tarburton.
He earned linebacker MVP honors at The Opening’s Cleveland regional camp in April.