Stay updated as Penn State rises toward the top of recruiting rankings! Don’t miss any of the coverage from Tyler Donohue, who brings a decade of experience as a national CFB reporter and recruiting department staff member with a Big Ten program. Read his daily notebooks here at 7:20 p.m. ET Monday through Friday and follow us on Twitter for the latest Nittany Lions recruiting news.
Nittany Lions will welcome multiple out-of-state recruits to campus Saturday
Penn State coach James Franklin and his staff are preparing for their busiest on-campus recruiting event since the April 22 spring camp. The Nittany Lions will welcome a small but significant group of prospects to campus Saturday, coinciding with a team appearance at the university’s baseball game against Nebraska.
Land of 10 independently confirmed 3-star New Jersey DE Jayson Oweh will be on campus. He will be joined by 4-star DT PJ Mustipher of Maryland and a pair of Georgia products — 4-star OT Christian Armstrong and 3-star CB Telly Plummer — according to Greg Pickel of PennLive.com.
Though more prospects may ultimately enter the mix, including members of the 2019 class, our focus shifts toward this quartet of 2018 recruits. Let’s start with Oweh, who entered the spotlight for a Land of 10 profile piece last week.
You’ll have trouble locating a prospect in the 2018 class whose stock is soaring as quickly as the Blair Academy junior. The 6-foot-5, 236-pound prospect spent five years away from the football field, focused on basketball during the first half of high school, but suited up last season and made an immediate impression.
Oweh started at defensive end from the first snap of 2016, tallying 42 tackles — 5 for loss — and 7 sacks, according to 247Sports. Limited reps at tight end encouraged him to explore his potential at the position this offseason, and the results create increased intrigue.
“To be so early in his maturation process at tight end, and doing some of those things we saw, the sky is the limit for when a Division I program brings him in and shows him the nuances of what it takes to succeed at this position at the next level,” said Ronny Torres, The Opening’s director of player personnel for tight ends and receivers after watching Oweh work on offense April 30 throughout a New Jersey regional camp.
2018 NJ recruit @JaysonOweh was listed at DE for The Opening's regional but played TE, and had some great moments.
20 offers since January. pic.twitter.com/yqIJaS8o2Q
— Tyler Donohue (@TDsTake) May 10, 2017
Though college programs are primarily focused on his skill set at defensive end, Oweh hopes to become a focal point in Blair Academy’s passing game and potentially pursue a career at tight end in college. He shared detailed conversations with Franklin and Penn State defensive line coach Sean Spencer during a March visit to Happy Valley, about a month before the Nittany Lions offered.
“I loved spending time with Coach Franklin,” Oweh said. “He’s down to earth and keeps it real with you.”
After visiting with a large group of family earlier this spring, Oweh will travel with his father Saturday. He received offers from Notre Dame and Ohio State, giving him 22 offers since late January.
Mustipher also attended The Opening’s New Jersey regional and earned an invitation to The Opening finals, held June 28-July 3 in Beaverton, Ore., at Nike’s world headquarters. He previously told Pickel a commitment could occur in May.
The 6-5, 290-pound defensive tackle is also looking closely at schools such as Notre Dame, Ohio State and Tennessee. This will be his second time at Penn State in six weeks.
— Pj Mustipher (@KingPJ55) April 9, 2017
The Nittany Lions have consistently prioritized Peach State prospects under Franklin, most notably landing a 2018 commitment from 5-star QB Justin Fields. The staff is set to see two more Georgia recruits on campus Saturday with Armstrong and Plummer on the list.
Armstrong, a 6-5, 335-pound offensive lineman, landed a Penn State offer in early February and already attended a junior day in State College. Projected to sign with Florida State by 83 percent of experts’ predictions in the 247Sports crystal ball, he represents another target in the trenches for a staff that has secured three offensive line commitments since April 22.
Plummer, on the other hand, heads to campus without a Penn State offer. The 6-foot, 185-pound defensive back received offers from Ole Miss and Pittsburgh earlier this month, and aims to add the Nittany Lions to his list.
“I hope they offer me when I’m up there,” he told Pickel. “Penn State is a dream school of mine.”
Among potential on-campus pledges, Plummer may be the most likely if Franklin offers.
4-star DE Cameron Latu eliminates Penn State despite recent offer
Penn State’s recruiting connection with Salt Lake City DE Cameron Latu didn’t last long. Just six days after receiving an offer from the Nittany Lions, the 6-5, 236-pound prospect announced his five collegiate finalists on Twitter:
FINAL 5..‼️ pic.twitter.com/VOxSMGPVDh
— Cameron Latu🌴 (@cameronlatu40) May 18, 2017
If Latu lands in the Big Ten it will be at Nebraska. His list is expectedly loaded with Pac-12 contenders — USC, Utah and Washington — and includes Alabama.
Cross Latu, listed No. 6 among weakside defensive ends in 247Sports’ 2018 composite rankings, off the list of potential replacements for 5-star DE Micah Parsons. Penn State added another name to the mix Tuesday, offering 3-star Georgia DE Kingsley Enagbare.
Other Nittany Lions options at defensive end include Oweh, Dorian Hardy of New Jersey, Tyreke Smith of Cleveland and Eyabi Anoma of Baltimore.
Penn State staff checks in on 5-star QB commit Justin Fields
We chronicled a busy week for 5-star QB Justin Fields in our Thursday notebook. Considered the No. 1 dual-threat quarterback in 247Sports’ 2018 composite rankings, he continues to attract attention from several marquee college football programs.
The Harrison (Ga.) High School standout saw staff members from Florida and LSU earlier this week, while Alabama coaches are expected on campus Friday. These three SEC squads are each still searching for a 2018 quarterback commit, and they’re just a few schools on an offer sheet that features more than 40 programs.
Fields, a 6-3, 221-pound Elite 11 finalist, will also see some familiar faces Friday. Penn State offensive coordinator Joe Moorhead and receivers coach Josh Gattis are expected to attend Harrison High’s spring game, according to Sean Fitz of 247Sports.
Their presence isn’t a surprise considering his importance to this class. Earlier this spring, Fields told our colleague Chris Kirschner of SEC Country his Penn State pledge is sturdy.
“I don’t see anything changing, to be honest with you,” he said in late March. “In reality, you never know what can happen. Coach (James) Franklin could leave. Coach (Joe) Moorhead [Penn State offensive coordinator] could leave. I don’t think that’s going to happen. I’ve talked to them both about that.”
In the aftermath of a whirlwind week, it’s especially key for Nittany Lions staff members to spend some personal time with Fields.
Kirschner plans to be at Harrison High on Friday night for the spring game. We’ll share any information he passes along on Land of 10’s Penn State coverage page.