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Penn State target Jayson Oweh quickly progressing, planning a few official visits
When you consider the heights his recruitment has reached, it can become difficult to remember Jayson Oweh has only played one season of high school football. The Blair Academy (Blairstown, N.J.) senior served up evidence of his rapid improvement Saturday afternoon, delivering an absolutely dominant performance in a season-opening victory over The Haverford School (Pa.).
Oweh, a 6-foot-5, 235-pound defensive end, secured 4 sacks, 11 tackles, 5 quarterback hurries, a forced fumble and a blocked punt in the 44-21 win.
“He could have had 10 sacks if the quarterback didn’t throw the ball away,” Blair Academy coach Jim Saylor told Land of 10.
While also taking reps as a nightmare-matchup receiver, Oweh caught a 61-yard touchdown. Early in his recruitment, several Power 5 programs expressed interest in his potential as a tight end.
Oweh, who posted 7 sacks last season while attempting to learn a new sport, validated enhanced external and internal expectations during his senior debut.
“I’ve been pretty confident that I can play at a high level for a while now, and this offseason of training and hard work just solidified things,” he said. “I’m way more knowledgable, technically sound, and I have way more of a motive and passion.”
Saylor applauded the work Oweh invested this offseason, which he said was the first time Oweh has been involved in a sustained weight-training system.
“He’s just learning the game,” Saylor said. “Jayson has one year under his belt, and now he’s using his hands a lot better, using his speed. All the hard work and training over the summer are paying dividends. He has a better understanding of the game, and it’s showing from Week 1.”
When comparing the basketball player he inherited last August, Saylor explained there is no comparison.
“It’s night and day,” he said. “I think he’s still going to get a lot, lot better but his progress is incredible. I can’t wait to see him in two, three, four years.”
Like Saylor, Oweh believes he is only now just scratching the surface of the football player he can become.
“I would say I’m at less than 50 percent,” Oweh said. “I haven’t even tapped into my offensive side, let alone my skills at defensive end.”
Several college football staffs feel the same way. As I’ve stated since late spring, he has a chance to develop into one of the very best defenders of this 2018 recruiting class when we re-examine the cycle a few years from now. Oweh is already considered the No. 7 strongside defensive end and a top-200 prospect in 247Sports 2018 composite rankings.
“His upside is just tremendous,” Saylor said. “He’s in a program where we get 10 hours of practice per week, and he has to practice offense and defense. When he gets to a college program and has three hours each day just to focus on defensive end, it’s going to be special. He’s like a flower that hasn’t even bloomed yet.”
Oweh is set to announce his collegiate choice Jan. 4 at the Under Armour All-America Game in Orlando, Fla. He plans to use all five official visits before then, and utilized his first Sept. 9 at Ohio State, where he watched the Buckeyes lose to Oklahoma.
It was his third trip to Columbus since May, while he visited Happy Valley for a fourth time last weekend. Fresh off his outstanding performance for Blair Academy, he joined Saylor for a journey to Beaver Stadium.
It was a somewhat impromptu unofficial visit, as Saylor invited him to tag along. Penn State’s opponent, Georgia State, features running back Taz Bateman, who attended Blair Academy. This late addition to the gameday guest list certainly pleased Nittany Lions coaches.
“Oh yeah, they love him up there,” Saylor said.
It’s interesting to note that Saylor has some personal ties to the Penn State staff. He played alongside James Franklin at East Stroudsburg University, while defensive coordinator Brent Pry’s father was an East Stroudsburg assistant coach.
Oweh enjoyed his first game experience in Beaver Stadium, though he is holding off on any comparisons between Penn State and Ohio State until his Nov. 18 official visit to Happy Valley.
“It was great, the crowd was crazy and the team looked ridiculously good,” Oweh said.
He spent much of the game speaking with Nittany Lions commits Shaquon Anderson-Butts and Zack Kuntz.
Penn State remains the only official visit cemented on his schedule, though he is in the process of scheduling trips to Florida and Notre Dame. Oweh explained his fifth and final official visit remains up for grabs.
There has been speculation during recent days about whether Penn State could potentially pull in an elite trio of defensive end targets down the stretch, signing Oweh, Micah Parsons and Tyreke Smith. Scholarship numbers are a big factor, but so is the fact these players carry about 100 combined scholarship offers.
When I asked Oweh about this somewhat surreal outcome, he didn’t shy away from the question.
“It’s possible,” he said. “We all would love to dominate , so that’d be cool if it ended up like that. I’ve talked to Tyreke a good amount of times and Micah and I [speak] every once in a while.”
Speaking of Parsons …
5-star DE Micah Parsons focused on a few schools
Following a U.S. Army All-American Bowl jersey ceremony for Micah Parsons at Harrisburg (Pa.) High School on Tuesday afternoon, I caught up with the elite defensive recruit and his father, Terrence Parsons. These conversations shed some light on where things stand with the 6-3, 235-pound prospect, and I encourage you to read my comprehensive story on the subject.
For the sake of this notebook, I’ll give you the bullet points (quite literally).
- Parsons’ father, Terrence, told me Ohio State has significantly reduced contact since an official visit on Sept. 9 that resulted in social-media drama surrounding Micah’s comments on the Buckeyes quarterback situation. However, Parsons said he and Urban Meyer have cleared the air, and Terrence said the Buckeyes remain a top contender.
- Micah said he and Penn State fans have had a “love-hate relationship” during the past year, but “right now it’s all love.”
- Terrence said Micah called Franklin before de-committing April 23 to make sure a Penn State scholarship would still be on the table while he explored other options. The answer was yes.
- Nebraska is the only other team scheduled for a definite official visit. The Cornhuskers will welcome him to campus Oct. 6.
- Terrence mentioned Georgia and Penn State as other official visits, but Micah’s high school schedule makes in-season travel complicated.
- Micah is working toward early graduation, which has never occurred at Harrisburg High, according to Terrance, and he intends to use the new early signing period (Dec. 20-22).
Again, there’s a lot more to this story, so go check out my Tuesday afternoon piece for more notes and a ton of quotes from Micah and his father.
Here is @Micah_parsons23 making it official.
— Tyler Donohue (@TDsTake) September 19, 2017
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