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Top-ranked WR Julian Fleming set for Beaver Stadium return
Few Pennsylvania high school prospects, regardless of age, have generated as much buzz this year as Julian Fleming. The Southern Columbia (Catawissa, Pa.) High School standout entered his sophomore season considered the No. 1 receiver in 247Sports 2020 composite rankings, and he’s delivered on those expectations.
Fleming produced career-high totals while leading Southern Columbia to an unbeaten regular season, according to MaxPreps. He secured 51 receptions for 1,095 yards (21.5 per catch) and 17 touchdowns, all while receiving significant attention from opposing pass coverage schemes.
“Usually it’s two people, with one defender up close and another over the top,” Fleming said. “Sometimes they’ll have a D-end come out, too. … The bigger bull’s-eye makes you want to work harder to achieve your goal.”
The 6-foot-2, 180-pound prospect collected several Power 5 scholarship offers this past offseason, including one from Penn State on June 17. The Nittany Lions have been selective with 2020 targets so far, but it’s apparent Fleming will be the center of attention in ongoing instate recruiting efforts.
“They’ve really made their presence known and made me a priority as a recruit,” he said.
Fleming continues to reciprocate that interest with campus visits, and said Tuesday evening the next trip to Happy Valley is set for Nov. 18 when Penn State hosts Nebraska.
Fleming previously spent time at Beaver Stadium on Sept. 16, watching the Nittany Lions dominate Georgia State. Notre Dame, Syracuse and Virginia Tech have also hosted him this season.
His latest university visit took place Oct. 21 when he traveled to South Bend, Ind., where the Fighting Irish defeated USC. Despite Fleming’s attendance at a pivotal Notre Dame game, it didn’t prove beneficial from a recruiting standpoint.
“No coaches came to the tent or anything. No one really got to talk to anybody,” he said. “It was a little disappointing but there are going to be other opportunities.”
During game-day visits, Fleming has spoken with fellow top-5 overall 2020 talents Bryan Bresee (defensive end; Maryland) and Chris Tyree (running back; Virginia). The three players are on Penn State’s early target board and have visited Beaver Stadium this season.
Fleming, who already holds every Southern Columbia career receiving record, welcomed Nittany Lions receivers coach Josh Gattis to his high school field in October.
Despite back-to-back Penn State losses, Fleming remains confident in the program’s potential this season and beyond. He expects the Nittany Lions to serve up a statement Saturday vs. Rutgers.
“I think they’re going to play great,” Fleming said. “They’re going to use those losses as motivation to rebound and beat them up pretty good this week.”
Watch his sophomore-season highlights here:
Penn State commitment stat tracker: Week 10
Each Wednesday, we’ll provide updated season statistics for various Nittany Lions commits. Although the number of games played for these prospects vary, below is a review of the production for several future Penn State players.
(Statistics are unofficial and obtained firsthand or courtesy of MaxPreps unless otherwise noted.)
High school: Harrisburg (Pa.)
Team record: 10-0
Last week: 3 receptions for 21 yards and 1 touchdown in 56-14 win against Cumberland Valley
Season stats: 28 receptions, 416 receiving yards, 9 total touchdowns
CB Keaton Ellis (2019)
High school: State College (Pa.)
Team record: 8-2
Last week: Did not play (recovering from thumb surgery) in 31-10 win against Central Dauphin
Season stats: 64 rushing yards, 163 receiving yards, 5 total touchdowns, 6 tackles, 3 pass breakups, 2 blocked kicks
High school: Sachse (Texas)
Team record: 9-0
Last week: 9 tackles, 1 interception, 2 pass breakups in 27-7 win against Naaman Forest
Season stats: 44 tackles, 5 tackles for loss, 7 interceptions, 7 pass breakups
TE Zack Kuntz
High school: Camp Hill (Pa.)
Team record: 4-6
Last week: 8 receptions for 303 yards and 3 touchdowns in 46-20 win against Trinity
Season stats: 41 receptions, 1,029 yards, 10 total touchdowns
*Week 10 stats according to Brian Linder of PennLive.
QB Will Levis
High school: Xavier (Middletown, Conn.)
Team record: 4-4
Last week: 370 passing yards, 4 touchdown passes, 1 rushing touchdown in 47-20 win against Hamden
Season stats: 2,180 passing yards, 29 total touchdowns
*Week 8 stats according to the New Haven register
LB Jesse Luketa
High school: Mercyhurst Prep (Erie, Pa.)
Team record: 9-1
Last week: 2 tackles in 28-10 win against Hickory
Season stats: 76 tackles, 7 tackles for loss, 4 sacks, 3 interceptions, 3 forced fumbles, 8 total touchdowns
CB Jordan Miner
High school: Wiregrass Ranch (Wesley Chapel, Fla.)
Team record: 8-2
Last week: 38 rushing yards, 1 rushing touchdown, 4 tackles in 30-7 win over Auburndale
Season stats: 37 tackles, 4 pass breakups, 2 interceptions, 351 rushing yards, 173 receiving yards, 9 total touchdowns
QB Taquan Roberson (2019)
High school: DePaul Catholic (Wayne, N.J.)
Team record: 6-3
Last week: 22 of 35 passing for 297 yards, 3 touchdowns and 1 interception, 69 rushing yards in 28-21 loss to St. Joe’s Regional
Season stats: 66 percent completions, 2,112 passing yards, 433 rushing yards, 27 total touchdowns, 5 interceptions
High school: South Brunswick (N.J.)
Team record: 7-1
Last week: 3 receptions for 22 yards, 20 rushing yards, 1 touchdown in 40-8 win against Monroe Township
Season stats: 34 receptions, 487 receiving yards, 205 rushing yards, 9 total touchdowns
RB Ricky Slade
High school: C.D. Hylton (Woodbridge, Va.)
Team record: 7-3
Last week: 123 rushing yards, 43 receiving yards, 3 touchdowns in 49-18 win against Forest Park
Season stats: 1,600 rushing yards, 261 receiving yards, 31 total touchdowns
High school: Pennridge (Perkasie, Pa.)
Team record: 9-2
Last week: 125 rushing yards, 1 touchdown, 8 tackles, 1 tackle for loss in 24-0 win over Quakertown
Season stats: 78 tackles, 17 tackles for loss, 6 sacks, 1 interception
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