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Penn State Recruiting Notes: Junior Day Recap and More

A recap of Penn State's Junior Day, as well as more offers!

4* Georgia Linebacker Roquan Smith
4* Georgia Linebacker Roquan Smith
Student Sports

Before we start things off, I come to you all with a plea for help. I need a name for these non-Recruiting Roundup posts. Land Grant Holy Land has "State Secrets", The Only Colors has "Spartan Pupudate", and so on. I would use Nittany Notes, but obviously we already use that from time to time. So leave some creative name ideas in the comments section so I can leaf through them and see if I like any of them. For now though, we'll just keep the name nice and boring.

It was Junior Day this past weekend at Penn State, and the staff entertained a very large group (considering the snow). Many of the names were those I listed in my pre-Junior Day post last week, but a few others decided to make the trip that I did not share with you previously. As I'm sure you know by now, there were also three commitments this weekend. Jarvis Miller, Kamonte Carter, and Ryan Bates all verbally committed to become Nittany Lions at the conclusion of Saturday's busy schedule. In the days since, a few very high profile offers have been sent out by the staff. We'll take a look at all of this in today's notes.

Junior Day

James Franklin and company hosted their first Penn State Junior Day this weekend, and it was wildly successful. Many recruits had very positive reactions to the visit, and were very vocal about it, including many soon-to-be-highly-ranked 2016 recruits. Let's take a look at just a few of the Junior Day related tweets.

3* NJ CB Daivon Ellison

4* PA OL Sterling Jenkins

2016 PA QB Brandon McIlwain

2016 PA RB Miles Sanders

There were plenty of other tweets from recruits as well, but I'm not going to continue just taking up space to include them. There were plenty of other notable names that made it to State College on Saturday, including Jerome Baker (LB), Adam McLean (DT), Brandon Wimbush (QB), Shareef Miller (DE), John Reid (CB), Ryan Buchholz (DE), and Jordan Whitehead (CB) (and many others as well).

Ryan Buchholz was someone to watch as a possible commitment this weekend, but he didn't pull the trigger just yet. Even if it takes a little bit of time, it is very difficult to imagine a scenario in which he chooses a different school.

Jake Cooper wasn't able to make it up for Junior Day, but he visited on Monday. He told me before the visit that he was not planning on committing this week, but that it is coming soon enough. He will be back either Sunday or Monday of next week, which could be the magic day for the 3* Pennsylvania LB.

Also, for anyone looking for an update on Saquon Barkley, I spoke with him briefly the other day. He told me that is struggling with his decision right now, and currently working to decide how to proceed with his recruitment. Barkley is currently committed to Rutgers, but is expected to flip that to Penn State, or at least re-open his recruitment,

As always, BWI, Lions247, and Fight On State were all over the Junior Day coverage, providing excellent updates and recaps over the last few days. Here are a pair of articles that I found to be interesting for Penn State fans

New Offers

The staff has been quite busy since Junior Day with their new offers. I could hardly put my phone/iPad/computer down for five seconds before finding out that another offer went out. So before we analyze, here are some of the offers that were made (with 247Composite star rankings).

  • Trenton Thompson (DT) (Albany, GA) (#1 player in the country) ★★★★★
  • Iman Marshall (CB) (Long Beach, CA) (#3 CB in the country) ★★★★★
  • Cece Jefferson (DE) (Glen Saint Mary, FL) (#1 DE in the country) ★★★★★
  • Roquan Smith (LB) (Montezuma, GA) (#5 OLB in the country) ★★★★
  • Brady White (Pro-Style QB) (Santa Clarita, CA) (#4 Pro-Style QB in the country) ★★★★
  • Jackson Harris (TE) (Columbia, TN) (#11 TE in the country) ★★★★
  • **Update- The staff has also offered Keisean Lucier-South (Orange, CA) (#5 defensive end in the country) ★★★★
That's a lot of stars. I received an email asking what Franklin's angle is with offering all of these five star players out of state, when his stated goal is to dominate the state. Aside from the obvious "Why not", Franklin is offering these players because he truly believes he can get them. Aside from #DominateTheState, his other goal is to have the most aggressive recruiting staff in the country, and they are following through with that. When they see a player they want, they are going after them no matter what. Sure, it's a long shot for any of these guys to become Nittany Lions, but there is no harm in trying. By sending out these offers, James Franklin is making a statement loud and clear that he doesn't care what recruiting stigmas exist around the non-Ohio States and Michigans of the Big Ten. He and his staff are going to recruit tenaciously. They are injecting an SEC feeling into this program, and it is already showing in the recruitment process.

Also of note, according to Scout, Tanner Hartman has left the team. The reasoning is unclear at this point, but what we do know is that this frees up a scholarship. I am not happy about the fact that Hartman is leaving, especially given our current lack of offensive line depth, but if he must go I'm going to find the positives. Whatever number the 2015 class was going to be capped at has just risen by 1, with more to potentially come due to the coaching change.

Finally, Bud Elliot wrote a fantastic article yesterday about the relationship between star rankings and team success. It's a lengthy, but worthy read.

That's all I've got for you for now. Be sure to check back for my interview with 4* WR Juwan Johnson later this morning, and all throughout the week for other interviews as well. #DominateTheState