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No. 1 overall New Jersey prospect to Penn State?
Tyler Friday, a dominant defensive lineman from national powerhouse Don Bosco Prep in Ramsey, N.J., began collecting scholarship offers in bunches as a sophomore. Now more accustomed to life in the college football recruiting spotlight, the 6-foot-3, 263-pound prospect spends more time considering his eventual collegiate destination than ever before.
Listed No. 1 among Garden State prospects and No. 46 overall nationally in 247Sports’ 2018 Composite rankings, Friday asserts several Big Ten teams could attract his commitment. Michigan, Ohio State, Penn State and nearby Rutgers are some of the schools that stand out entering the final stretch of his junior year, he told Land of 10 on Sunday.
Friday visited each of those programs earlier in the process, including an early spring trip to State College. He explained that the stay in Happy Valley gave him plenty to consider, while weighing the possibilities of someday returning as a Nittany Lions player or an opponent.
“I just loved the atmosphere there,” he said. “It’s a family atmosphere and they have a lot of Jersey guys as well, so they recruit hard in Jersey. For me, that’s big. Overall, it was a great experience and I love the staff there as well.”
Friday is yet another New Jersey target for Penn State coach James Franklin, who already carries a commitment from 4-star WR Justin Shorter. As we documented in our notebook Monday, the South Brunswick High School pass catcher received an invitation Sunday to The Opening finals, held this summer in Beaverton, Ore., at Nike’s world headquarters.
As for Friday, he also attended The Opening’s most recent regional camp, Sunday at New York Jets headquarters in Florham Park, N.J. He hopes to join Shorter in Oregon when the event’s staff gathers to determine final roster spots in a few weeks.
“It would mean a lot to me and it’s a big goal of mine as a high school player,” Friday said. “My teammate, Tommy DeVito, [attended The Opening finals] last year.”
DeVito, a 2017 Syracuse quarterback signee, helped work the Sunday camp in a counselor role. The field was also filled with talented defenders, including fellow blue-chip linemen Micah Parsons (Harrisburg, Pa.) and Dorian Hardy (Paramus, N.J.).
— Tyler Donohue (@TDsTake) April 30, 2017
Hardy was a focus of our Wednesday notebook, and Penn State is definitely a player for his services. Though they don’t compete together at the prep level, Friday expressed a rapport with Hardy and Parsons, a 5-star defensive end who de-committed from the Nittany Lions last month.
All three coveted recruits could be factors for Franklin’s staff for the duration of the 2018 recruiting cycle.
“They’re competitors,” Friday said. “You saw it in the way they went into 1-on-1s with that intensity. I just like being around those guys, and playing with them at the next level would be very interesting.”
Considered a combo defensive lineman prospect, interest continues to surface from collegiate staffs at both the 3-technique and defensive end. Friday didn’t indicate a particular preference when it comes to position, and displayed confidence in his ability to fill either role.
“I have the strength to play inside and the speed to play outside,” he said.
Friday believes a weekend filled with drills — notably at the direction of three-time Super Bowl champion Willie McGinest — inspired him and should serve as a building block for development.
“[Sunday] was a great experience because I got to work with a lot of coaches from different places who know different things,” he said. “I just take it, being a student of the game. I’m always trying to get better, so that means taking in what they tell me and perfecting my craft.”
Friday, who said there is not timeline in place for a college pledge announcement, also mentioned his April 25 offer from Michigan State as a cause for intrigue. He hopes to visit “three or four” universities this summer as he whittles down options.
Penn State is certainly in line for a return trip. Friday said he wants to head back to Happy Valley “whenever I have a free moment”.
It’s worth noting that he is friendly with recent Nittany Lions signee Corey Bolds. Penn State landed two New Jersey defensive linemen in the 2017 recruiting cycle — Bolds and former Florida Gators commit Fred Hansard.