The high school season is underway for Penn State commits and recruiting targets. Check Land of 10 every Sunday as we spotlight the top performances of potential Nittany Lions.
High school football is in a high-stakes phase of the season, as wins push teams toward state championship contention and losses derail those ambitions. Many Penn State commits and targets are now waiting for a chance to shine in 2018, though a few are still battling to build an even better legacy at the prep level.
RB Devyn Ford
- Class: 2019
- High School: North Stafford (Stafford, Va.)
- Size: 5-foot-11, 185 pounds
- 247Sports composite ranking: No. 4 running back; No. 45 overall
- Recruitment status: Uncommitted; Offers include Clemson, North Carolina, Ohio State, Penn State and Virginia Tech
Devyn Ford, who plays alongside 2018 Penn State offensive tackle commit Nana Asiedu at North Stafford, scored 3 touchdowns in a Region 5D semifinal game vs. Brooke Point. However, it wasn’t enough to keep his junior season alive as his squad suffered a 22-20 defeat.
Ford, who visited the Nittany Lions’ spring game in April, showed off his all-purpose abilities. He caught a pair of touchdowns while tallying 153 offensive yards on 25 touches, according to Joey LoMonaco of The Free Lance-Star. Ford added a 51-yard punt-return score in the fourth quarter.
QB Taquan Roberson
- Class: 2019
- High School: DePaul Catholic (Wayne, N.J.)
- Size: 6-foot, 185 pounds
- 247Sports composite ranking: No. 16 dual-threat quarterback; No. 489 overall
- Recruitment status: Committed to Penn State on Oct. 26, 2017
Taquan Roberson has enjoyed a sensational junior season, his first prep campaign as a full-time starting quarterback. The latest Nittany Lions pledge continued that theme Friday night, delivering DePaul to a 42-21 victory over St. John Vianney in the Non-Public Group 3 playoffs.
Roberson started hot, completed 12 of 14 pass attempts for 141 yards and 3 touchdowns in the first half, according to Gregory Patuto of NorthJersey.com. He finished with 6 touchdowns, giving him 33 total scores through 10 games this season.
- Class: 2018
- High School: South Brunswick (Monmouth Junction, N.J.)
- Size: 6-foot-4, 215 pounds
- 247Sports composite ranking: No. 3 receiver, No. 12 overall
- Recruitment status: Committed to Penn State on Aug. 6, 2o16
Justin Shorter extended his high school career Friday night, as he was called into action behind center following a quarterback injury and also made a major defensive impact. Shorter rushed for a 65-yard touchdown out of the Wildcat formation and returned an interception 69 yards to the end zone in a 21-10 win over Old Bridge in the Central Group V semifinals, according to Greg Tufaro of MyCentralJersey.com.
Expect Shorter to be a dynamic and potentially dominant downfield threat in Happy Valley, but he’s been an elite utility player for South Brunswick during his career. He visited Penn State on Saturday, watching the Nittany Lions defeat Nebraska.
“Those are the things Justin is capable of doing. Justin could have 10 or 15 catches a game on some offenses, but [playing in a triple-option scheme] never really bothered him,” South Brunswick coach Joe Goerge told Tufaro.
— GMC Gridiron (@gmcgridiron) November 18, 2017
RB Ricky Slade
- Class: 2018
- High School: C.D. Hylton (Woodbridge, Va.)
- Size: 5-foot-9, 185 pounds
- 247Sports composite ranking: No. 2 all-purpose back; No. 28 overall
- Recruitment status: Committed to Penn State on Feb. 3, 2017
Ricky Slade has thrust himself into National Player of the Year discussions with his consistent production as a senior. He served up further evidence Friday night, erupting for 328 rushing yards on 22 carries (14.9 per attempt) against Freedom in a playoff matchup, according to Digital Scout.
Slade scored 4 rushing touchdowns in a 45-28 win. It was his second 300-yard rushing effort of 2017 and his fifth game with at least 3 rushing scores. Through 12 games this season, Slade has more than 2,700 all-purpose yards and 40 total touchdowns.